With age your skin undergoes a lot of changes. It no longer looks as smooth and plump as it once did owing to fat loss. Your bones and veins become more visible. It will take a long time for bumps or cuts, and scratches to heal. Age spots, dryness, wrinkles, and even cancer are the result of being out in the sunlight for a long time or years of sun tanning. But, to make your skin look and feel better you can do a lot of things.
Itching and Dry Skin
Dry spots on the skin, often on the lower arms, elbows, and lower legs, are very common in old people. Dry skin patches will be scaly and rough. This is due to various causes like:
Sun tanning or spending too much time in the sun
Not drinking enough water
Owing to exposure to dry air
Losing oil and sweat glands
Various health problems like kidney disease or diabetes can also lead to dry skin. Taking hot baths, and using too much perfume, antiperspirant, or soap can make dry skin worse.
Skin becomes itchy due to some medicines too. Scratching can cause bleeding and infection. If your skin is very itchy and dry, talk to your doctor.
Here are some ways to help itchy, dry skin:
Use creams, lotions, or ointments, daily.
Use milder soap and take fewer showers or baths. Use warm water instead of hot water.
To add moisture to a room try using a humidifier.
When compared to younger people bruises on older people last longer. Bruising is caused by certain illnesses or medicines. If you see bruises talk to your doctor.
Skin begins to wrinkle over time. The skin becomes less elastic when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) light from the sun. Skin can sag due to gravity as well. Wrinkles are caused by certain habits, like smoking.
To make wrinkles go away you will see a lot of remedies. However, most of them are ineffective. Consult a cosmetic dermatologist before trying out any treatment.
Skin Tags and Age Spots
Brown, flat spots on the skin known as age spots are often caused by years of sun exposure. They commonly show up on areas like the hands, feet, face, back and arms, and are bigger than freckles. Age spots can be prevented by using a broad-spectrum sunscreen.
Flesh-colored growths of skin that have a raised surface are called skin tags. In people, especially women, age spots are common. It is on the body folds like the groin, chest and armpit, as well as neck and eyelids, that they are most often found.
Skin tags and skin spots are harmless. Talk to your doctor about having them removed if your age spots or skin tags are bothering you.
A common type of cancer is skin cancer, which is caused mostly due to sun exposure. Tanning booths and sunlamps can also cause skin cancer. The greatest risk is for those with fair skin. If skin cancer is detected before it spreads to other parts of the body it may be cured.
Skin cancers are classified into three types. Two types of cancer that rarely spread to other parts of the body are squamous cell carcinoma and basal cell carcinoma. These types of cancer are usually found on the face, hands, arms, neck and head, that are most often exposed to the sun. Melanoma is the third and most dangerous type of skin cancer. It is deadly and can spread to other organs and it is rarer than the other types.
To detect signs of skin cancer check your skin once a month. It is not painful. Look for a bleeding mole, a sore that doesn’t heal, or a new growth.
Keep Your Skin Healthy
Limit your sun exposure. Try to avoid being in sun when the sun’s rays are strongest, between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Even if the sky is cloudy you can get sunburned. Also, make sure to use sunscreen while swimming.
Use sunscreen. Choose sunscreens with an SPF number of 15+. At least 20 minutes before you go outside apply the sunscreen. And at least every 2 hours it should be applied again. If you are sweating, or swimming, you need to put sunscreen on more often.
Wear protective clothing. To protect your eyes, neck and head from sun’s harsh rays use a hat with a wide brim. Use sunglasses that block sun’s rays. Wear long-sleeved loose shirts, or long and lightweight pants or skirts if you have to be in the sun.
Avoid tanning. Avoid tanning beds and sunlamps. It is not safe to use tanning pills.
With age your skin may change. But you can do a lot to protect it. See your doctor if you find any changes.