Changes in the skin are possibly the most visible signs of aging. However, age is not the only factor that impacts skin health, explains Dr. Nussra Wongrattanapasson, dermatologist and aesthetics expert to Better Health.
Change of age, change of skin
Like any organ, skin changes with age. “Adolescent skin is rather oily,” Dr. Nussra notes. “In middle-age, the skin’s elasticity and strength deteriorates, resulting in bigger pores and wrinkles. In life’s later years, along with wrinkles, the skin gets dry, saggy, and loose with deep nasolabial folds and tear-trough deformity.”
Dr. Nussra points out that skin changes differ for each person depending on concomitant factors such as genetics and lifestyle. But the greatest threat to healthy skin, she notes, is regular and prolonged sun exposure without sunscreen protection.
Skin problems in the elderly
Certain well-established beauty treatments and avoiding sun exposure can slow a range of cosmetic skin problems as we age. But there are also more serious skin diseases and conditions that commonly afflict elderly people.
- Melanoma and other skin cancers: Warning signs include unusual spots, lumps, chronic wounds, and moles that change in size and color, accompanied by pain and bleeding. If you exhibit any of these symptoms, have a doctor examine your skin immediately.
- Dry skin and allergic rashes: Deterioration of sweat glands and sebaceous glands can cause flaking and highly sensitive skin. Severe cases can warrant the doctor prescribing topical drugs. To maintain the improved skin condition after this treatment, the doctor might also recommend specially formulated lotions.
- Hair loss and irritated scalp: Usually caused by dry scalp and hair dyeing.
- Seborrheic Keratosis, ephelides, and brown spots: Laser treatment effectively removes these growths.
“Less common symptoms
such as red spots, for example, might indicate liver disease,” Dr. Nussra says. “Elderly people and their caregivers should recognize and not ignore any skin symptoms because they could be signs of possible serious underlying diseases.”
Skin care can start right now!
It’s never too late to start taking care of your skin:
- Avoid taking extremely hot showers
- People with particularly dry skin should try not to use soap, not scrub, and maybe shower once a day only
- Use skin care products that have 4.5 – 5.5 pH
- Don’t drink alcohol or smoke
- Use a sunscreen that suits your daily activities to protect skin from ultraviolet (UV) rays
- Get good nutrition and regular exercise
- Get adequate sleep and avoid stress that could cause insomnia