Skin Care Tips for Seniors

As you age, you may notice your skin is changing. It becomes less supple, thinner and drier, injures more easily and heals more slowly. As a result, seniors are prone to skin problems including:

  • Itching, or pruritus, is common secondary to dryness that happens as the skin ages.
  • Purple Spots, or senile purpura, is when purplish spots appear on the arms and legs due to the thinness of the skin and frailty of the blood vessels. It is most common in those taking any type of blood thinner, including aspirin.
  • Shingles is caused by the same virus as chicken pox. Approximately half of the shingles cases occur after the age of 60.

As you age the need for skin protection increases. With a few simple steps, you can help prevent the common senior skin problems:

Eat the right foods and drink water

It is important to have your diet include foods that are rich in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Foods such as green vegetables, melons, berries, walnuts and avocados help your skin feel and look refreshed.  Supplement your diet with plenty of water. Water refreshes the body and flushes out the toxins that can cause skin problems.

Use a Humidifier

As you age, your skin tends to become dry, especially in winter. The dry air can cause redness and cracking. To help eliminate these problems you need to add moisture to the air. A humidifier can be purchased at your local home goods or home improvement store. A great place to put it is in your bedroom and run it while you sleep.

Apply sunscreen regularly

While we all love the sun, the UV rays do more damage than good. Each year there are more new cases of skin cancer than combined cases of breast, prostate, lung and colon cancer. To help prevent the damage that UV rays can do, apply sunscreen regularly and cover up with protective clothing while out in the sun for extended periods of time. This also includes wearing sunglasses to help protect your eyes and the skin around them.

Avoid hard soaps and excessive washing

While cleansing your skin is important, you have to avoid over-cleansing it. Most seniors do not lead an overly active lifestyle, washing the face with just water is often sufficient.

Use a moisturizing cream

As mentioned earlier, as you age your skin doesn’t retain moisture as easily. A good moisturizing cream is a must and should be applied to your face, neck and arms several times a day. Look for a cream that contains natural ingredients such as vitamins A and E, aloe and cucumber extract.

Skin Struggles?

If you are struggling skin issues and don’t know where to turn, the skin health experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to help.  To find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you, visit the locations page today.


7 Common Face Washing Mistakes

Your daily skin care routine most likely starts and ends with washing your face. According to Dr. Victoria Negrete, board-certified dermatologist with Forefront Dermatology, “while cleansing seems like it should be the least complicated part of your skin routine, certain face washing habits can lead to numerous skin issues including irritation, oiliness and breakouts.” Here are the top 7 face washing mistakes and how to correct them:

1. You’re using the wrong product
The right cleanser should completely remove dirt, makeup and dead cells, but not be too harsh that it removes your skin’s natural oils and healthy cells. Choose a cleanser that is neither too gentle where you have to scrub multiple times nor too harsh where it leaves your skin red and dry.

2. You wash your skin too often
Generally, washing your skin once or twice a day is a good standard to follow. Any more than that will lead to irritated skin and usually an overproduction of oil. If your day involved no makeup, sunscreen or sweat you can skip the cleanser that night and just rinse your face with water. Giving your skin a break from time to time is healthy.

3. You’re washing with the wrong water temperature
There is a skin myth out there that says hot water opens pores while cold water closes them. The truth is that pores don’t have the ability to open and close. Lukewarm water is the best for gently cleansing your skin. Too hot of water can lead to over dry skin.

4. You exfoliate more than you should
While exfoliation is a healthy practice to remove dead skin cells, the key is to not exfoliate too often. Exfoliating a maximum of two times a week is plenty to remove dead skin cells, but not irritate your skin.

5. You skimp on the face rinse
In a world where time is limited and moving too fast, it is easy to rinse too quickly. Skimping on the rinse can lead to residue build up – clogging pores and drying out the skin. The jawline, hairline and nose are common spots to get missed during rinsing.

6. You have poor towel habits
When drying off with a towel the key is to pat not rub. While rubbing is easier and soothing, it tugs and pulls on your skin putting your skin’s elastin at risk. It is also important to never share towels. Designate your own towel to prevent bacteria from spreading.

7. You aren’t sure when to moisturize
A common question is whether you should moisturize while your skin is wet or dry? To maximize absorption and help seal in moisturizer it is important to apply moisturizer immediately after cleansing while the skin is still damp.

Skin Struggles?
If you are struggling with skin issues and don’t know where to turn, the skin health experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to help. To find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you, visit the locations page today.