National Healthy Skin Month

November is the nationally recognized month for healthy skin making it the perfect time to prepare elderly patients for the coming colder seasons. The colder and much dryer whether can exacerbate skin conditions. It often affects most everyone’s skin. There are several ways to help protect the elderly and their delicate skin.

5 Tips for Keeping Elders Skin Young and Healthy

  1. One of the most crucial aspects of skin care for all ages that is often forgotten in wintertime is sunscreen. An SPF of at least 30 is recommended by skin care professionals and dermatologists. It is believed that this strength will absorb about 97% of skin damaging UV rays. Remember these sun rays are dangerous in winter and can travel through both glass and clouds. Be sure to reapply sunscreen often and especially after patients have bathed or sweated.
  2. Look for shaded areas for seniors to sit while they are outside, particularly when the sun is intense. Keep in mind that the AAD, or American Academy of Dermatology, has determined the sun to be most intense between 10 am and 4 pm in the northern American continent. There is also apparel now hitting the market which can effectively assist in skin protection. Another innovative invention today is laundry detergent with added ultraviolet protection. Remind the elderly to dress in sun protective accessories such as sunglasses, hats, and long sleeves. Suggest woman carry a parasol or men take an umbrella along.
  3. Be cautious and examine all of the literature that accompanies both over the counter and prescription medications. Many of these intensify the effects of sun exposure and make the skin extremely sensitive to UV rays. Neglect can result in skin damage such as blistering, sunburn, and inflammation. Sun exposure has also been medically linked to melanoma.
  4. Skin care for the elderly is not limited to during time spent in the sun. Remind seniors to cleanse their skin on a daily basis. Help them ensure they use only moderately heated water as well as gentle soap when bathing. It is best to always dry the skin thoroughly and moisturize before dressing. All of these steps promote healthy skin which in itself is a sun protectant.
  5. After sun exposure and care is just as crucial as before and during. The first step to proper after sun skin care is appropriate skin care in general. As mentioned above the skin should be cleansed and protected through an everyday regimen. Healthy supple skin as well as proper dietary nutritional intake promotes overall positive health. The body is able to protect itself to a certain degree when is in good condition.

After being outside, or exposed to UV rays at all, moisturize the skin. The best moisturizers provide vitamins for the skin such as Vitamin A and E as well as plant extracts like Aloe Vera and Coconut. Coconut oil contains a natural amount of SPF of anywhere from 4 to 8 depending on how it was manufactured. It is a good idea to practice all of these tips, including after sun care, each day regardless of the amount seniors are exposed to ultraviolet rays.

Image Credit – http://www.sunsafety.qld.gov.au/images/larger_image/1209.jpg

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