Now that I have realized that, even I at my very, very young age 🙂 I am, in fact, aging I know that my skin is the most prevalent indicator of that process for me. My skin doesn’t have the elasticity that it once had and is my number one body system that takes the “hit” if I don’t manage stress well.
Skin changes with age, becoming thinner and appearing different than it used to. Damage to skin may take longer to heal, and areas of skin exposed to lots of sunlight can become wrinkled, dry, or even cancerous. Depending on the issue, there are many ways to treat problems with aging skin. Dry Skin and ItchingSenior citizens are prone to rough and scaly skin that appears on the lower legs, elbows, and lower arms. A few causes of dry skin include:
- Dehydration due to not drinking enough fluids
- Staying in the sun for long periods of time
- Being in very dry air
- Experiencing stress
- Losing sweat and oil glands which happens naturally with age
- Some health problems like diabetes or kidney disease
- Using excessive amounts of soap, antiperspirant, or perfume
- Taking hot baths
Dry skin can lead to itching, bleeding, and infection. It can also contribute to sleep problems. Such problems can be treated by medication, so it is encouraged that one seek medical attention before itchy skin leads to more serious conditions. Men and women can also use lotions and ointments, take fewer baths, use milder soap, use cooler water when bathing, or use a humidifier in order to treat dry and irritable skin. Bruises With age, men and women can bruise more easily and take longer to recover from bruising. Senior citizens with excessive bruising should see a doctor.Wrinkles Over time, ultraviolet rays and gravity can cause the skin to become less elastic and subsequently sag and wrinkle. Other habits like frowning and smoking can cause the smile to wrinkle. There are many ways to treat wrinkles but seeking medical advice before using these treatments are highly recommended. Age Spots and Skin Tags Age spots, which are sometimes referred to as “liver spots” are brown spots that can appear on the body. They are harmless signs of years of sun exposure. Women especially can also experience “skin tags” or flesh-colored growths of skin. Although these age spots and skin tags are harmless and are simply due to aging, it is important to alert your doctor as it may be difficult for those without medical training to discern between these and irregular growths. A dermatologist can remove both of these types of growths if they are bothersome.Skin Cancer Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States and is mainly caused by exposure to the sun, sunlamps, or UV light in tanning booths. People with fair skin are more at risk for developing skin cancer. If diagnosed early, skin cancer can be cured.
- Basal Cell Carcinoma: This is a slow growing type of skin cancer that rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma: This is a slow growing type of skin cancer that rarely spreads to other parts of the body.
- Melanoma: This type of skin cancer can spread to other organs of the body.
As with all medical questions, be sure to contact your primary care physician if you have a concern.