By 2040, it’s estimated that 21 percent of the population will be ages 65 and older – that’s nearly double what it is today. As our population ages, it is important to be aware of the unique health concerns that come with age – including skin care.
You might not think of skin care when it comes to aging, but taking good care of your skin is important to prevent uncomfortable cuts, bumps, sores or non-healing wounds, says Naomi Oliker, MBA, director of the Center for Advanced Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine at Adventist HealthCare Washington Adventist Hospital.
As a person ages, the skin becomes less elastic and loses thickness, making it more brittle. This causes the skin to tear or become irritated more easily, while also making it harder for wounds to heal, explains Oliker.
Skin Care Tips
- Keep skin clean. Cleanse gently with mild soap and warm water, and avoid excessive scrubbing/rubbing.
- Keep it dry. Don’t soak the skin for prolonged periods and dry all areas thoroughly after cleansing.
- Use a gentle moisturizing lotion or cream after bathing. Avoid abrasive creams with coal, tar or alcohol. Don’t apply it in between toes.
- Limit sun exposure. And wear sunscreen and protective gear like a visor when in the sun.
You should see a doctor if you notice a wound, cut, blister, irritation, or dry, cracked or peeling skin that does not resolve in 30 days.
Don’t Forget The Feet
The skin on the feet can be prone to develop blisters, callouses or other irritations that can become non-healing wounds if not cared for properly.
Oliker offers these tips for your feet:
- Inspect feet daily. Use a mirror to inspect the soles and between soles. Get assistance for extra careful inspection.
- Wash feet daily. Test the water temperature with the forearm or elbow.
- Wear the right shoes. Buy shoes that fit properly and inspect feet immediately after wearing new shoes at small increments of time.
If you notice any abnormal swelling, blisters or discoloration on your feet, you should see your doctor as soon as possible.
Do you think you might have a non-healing wound? Get a consultation with our specialized doctors and nurses at the Adventist HealthCare Centers for Advanced Wound Care & Hyperbaric Medicine.