In order to maintain dry skin in older people, various measures must be taken, including with regard to nutrition, sunlight, and hygiene products. Here you can find out which they are.
Dry skin in older adults has various problems, such as B. redness, irritation, roughness, cracks, peel, and an increased risk of bruising. Therefore, there are some care tips for dry skin that you should consider.
And although the skin aging process is normal, there are measures that can reduce these symptoms and the occurrence of dryness. In this article, we have put together various care tips for dry skin in old age. We also tell you what to look for so as not to make the problem worse.
Signs of dry skin in older people
Age-related drought can affect different skin types alike. In some places such as the lower legs, the elbow, and the skin folds, it is more noticeable.
During the various tissue layers, certain changes take place during this skin aging process. For example, the horny layer loses the extreme layer of the skin, its ability to save moisture efficiently.
The dermis loses elasticity and density because collagen production decreases by aging fibroblasts and lower mechanical stimulation. And in the deeper layers, the oocytes (fat-storing cells) are reduced in size and quantity.
As a result, the following signs can be observed:
- Thinner skin
- Loss of moisture
- Cracks and scale formation
- Cuts and wounds take longer to heal
Factors that increase skin dryness
Aging and dry skin in older adults as well as the above symptoms become much more intense and noticeable when certain other factors come into play. Some of them are avoidable and we will inform you so that you can take them into account.
According to studies, dry skin is one of the most common problems in diabetics (50 %), followed by hyperkeratosis or thickening of the outer layer (33.5 %). A review from 2015 also mentioned that the symptoms of kidney patients who undergo hemodialysis can often be found in dry skin and itching.
Hormonal changes that are associated with aging can also have a major impact on the occurrence of dry skin in older adults. In women, the production of the elastic fibers is impaired when menopause and the decline in estrogen levels.
Excessive sunlight is associated with the development of various skin diseases. A connection between ultraviolet (UV) radiation and skin cancer was even found.
A lack of sufficient fluid intake, i.e. H. With little fluid intake during the day, the problem of dry skin can worsen, not only in older adults.
Care tips for dry skin: cosmetics and hygiene products
The excessive use of soaps, deodorants, perfumes, and some creams can contribute to dryness. If the pH value of products is higher than 8, this affects the natural oils of the skin.
Factors related to skin color can make a difference in aging and age-related drought. According to some studies, the horny layer in black people has more cell layers than in white people. Therefore, the effects of environmental factors on darker skin can be lower.
There are other possible reasons why skin dryness can deteriorate:
- Life in places with very dry or cold air
- Frequent hot baths
- Medicines such as blood pressure-lowering diuretics, corticosteroids, oral contraceptives, antineoplastics, and retroviral medication
Care tips for dry skin in old age
According to research, the care of dry skin should be comprehensive in older adults and include several strategies. Below you will find some care tips for dry skin.
On the one hand, the liquid intake should be increased by drinking at least 2 liters of water per day. However, this can vary from person to person. The proportion of fresh fruits and vegetables in the diet should also be increased.
On the other hand, the use of topical moisture products (creams or gels) is recommended. These should preferably be applied after showering in order to optimally supply the skin with moisture.
Caution with hygiene products
Caution should be exercised when using hygiene products because dry skin is sensitive and reactions can occur. It is therefore recommended to avoid alkaline solutions, perfume, dyes, and certain chemicals such as triclosan, parabens, formaldehyde, and oxybenzone.
Always check the pH of the product.
Care tips for dry skin: Avoid cold, dry air
Avoid everything that contributes to dry skin. So if you live or work in an environment where the air is very dry, you should use a humidifier.
Even in summer, when the surroundings are very hot, or in winter when the temperature drops, you should take precautions to avoid changes in the moisture balance.
Reduce sun exposure
We have already mentioned that excessive sunlight can be harmful and that the skin tends to be more sensitive. But we also have to mention that the effect of ultraviolet radiation is cumulative. The longer we expose ourselves to the sun, the greater the risk that melanoma will form.
Therefore, some measures should be taken when you stay outdoors:
- Avoid the hours with the highest sunlight intensity.
- Use broad-spectrum sunscreen.
- Wear sunglasses and a hat.
- Apply clothing that is covered and protected.
- Go for a walk in the shade.
- Do not use browning methods, even with no browning lamps or sunbursts.
Care tips for dry skin: avoid hot water
Whether showering or bathing in the tub or when washing your face or your hands, too hot water should be avoided because it can make the skin drier. It is better to use cold and warm water in winter, which should not be warmer than 40 ° C.
Pay attention to your diet
Nutrition is also important when it comes to maintaining dry skin in older adults since an antioxidant diet can reduce the effects of oxidative stress.
In this context, the following foods for dry skin are recommended:
- Food with high water content: watermelons, melons, oranges, grapes, tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions.
- Food that is rich in beta-carotene: spinach, carrots, pumpkin, and peppers.
- Vitamin B-rich foods: meat, eggs, and dairy products.
- Rich in zinc: oysters, sardines, pumpkin seeds.
- Food with a high sulfur content: asparagus, garlic, and others.
- Sources for omega-3 fatty acids: fish, shellfish, and nuts.
Dry skin: When should you see a doctor?
With increasing age, the skin can suffer from certain changes in texture or general appearance. However, there are some signs that you should pay attention to. For example, itching or redness that lasts over a longer period of time.
Even if they can form easily, it is important to pay attention to blue spots that occur for no apparent reason, especially on parts of the body that are covered by clothing.
Mountains, stains, or skin incorporations should be evaluated based on the following criteria to decide whether you should see a doctor:
- Asymmetry: If parts of the skin look different.
- Edges: if the edges are irregular.
- Color: Has the color changed?
- Diameter: Is your diameter larger than 0.5 centimeters?
- Development: If you grow or change your shape or your appearance over time.
If these or other symptoms occur and bleeding also occurs, you should see your doctor or a doctor to exclude possible cancer.