Skin Needs of the Elderly

Skin requires extra care as we age.
As our skin ages, it thins and becomes vulnerable to wide variety of problems. It is very important that the elderly take care of their skin because they are more susceptible to skin infection, and skin disease, due to the changes that take place to skin as we age.

As we age our skin, becomes less supple, thinner, and dryer. It also injures easier, and heals more slowly. Because of this seniors are much more prone to skin problems ranging from itching, scaling, and mild dryness, to grave skin conditions, such as: infection and ulcerations. Caregivers should understand that severe skin infection or non-healing wound in the elderly can be very serious, even fatal. If you are the caregiver for an elderly loved one, skin protection will need to become routine. Preventing serious skin conditions in the elderly not only protects their skin, but can help prevent small problems from becoming larger and more serious. It should be noted that if your loved one exhibits any skin problems they should be evaluated by their health care professional, before any treatment is started.
The first thing caregivers should know are what the most common skin conditions of the elderly are. Some of these are-
  • Senile Purpura-These are the purplish spots that appear most often on the arms and legs, due to thinness of the elder person’s skin, and frailty of the capillaries, and blood vessels just below the surface.
  • Stasis Dermatitis-This condition is more common in elderly women than men; it is characterized by dry, itchy skin.
  • Exfoliative Dermatitis-This is a more severe form of dermatitis, than stasis dermatitis, and is characterized by excessive peeling and shedding of skin. This condition is of particular concern in the elderly, because the severe itching can lead to infections.
  • Skin Infections and/or Infestations-These are bacterial infections, and parasitic infestation, such as scabies or ringworm, and are common in the elderly. 
  • Cancerous and non-cancerous skin growths-Any suspicious growth, or change in an existing mole or growth should be examined by an individual’s health care provider, immediately.
  • Viral skin disorders-These include problems such as shingles and herpes zoster.
Tips on maintaining healthy skin as we age

The bottom line is that if skin becomes too dry, it is prone to cracking and dermatitis, which allows for penetration of bacteria that can result in infection. Some skin tips for the elderly include:

  • Avoiding hot baths and frequent showers
  • Using only mild soaps, and gently apply moisturizers to the skin after every shower or bath 
  • Caregivers must take extra care to avoid, their elderly loved one developing bedsores, particularly for those who are incontinent or bed-ridden. These individuals need to be turned frequently, to avoid pressure-sensitive ulcers. And it is imperative that absorbent products and catheters be changed frequently. 
  • Never smoking or quit smoking as cigarette smoke has been found to be highly damaging to skin.
  • Making sunblock a regular part of the skin care routine. 
  • Staying properly hydrated by drinking enough liquids. This is important since dehydrated skin is also vulnerable to an assortment of problems. 
  • Using a room humidifier during the winter and in dry climates 
  • Avoiding hot and dry places, such as saunas
Different lines of skin care products are designed to meet the skin care needs of seniors. This includes the Triderma line that offers medical grade effectiveness, without the expense and side effects of prescriptive products. To check it out simply click on to view the entire skin care line.

About The CareGiver Partnership. The CareGiver Partnership helps caregivers and their loved ones with answers to their caregiving questions, including information about home health care products and supplies, from our Wisconsin-based team of Product Specialists who are all current or former caregivers. The company’s Web site provides the largest online library of resources on subjects most important to caregivers — from arthritis to assisted living, and Parkinson’s to prostate cancer — as well as access to more than 3,000 home care products for incontinence, skin care, mobility, home safety and daily living aids. The CareGiver Partnership was founded in 2004 by Lynn Wilson of Neenah, Wisc. Visit to learn more or call 1-800-985-1353.


Yzah Jelle said...

Thank you for your inspiring tips! The key to making your skin healthy and looking young is living a healthy, natural lifestyle. Don't just depend on these beauty products or read skin care reviews. If you want to look and feel young, quit smoking, stop eating junk and always get a good night's sleep.

CareGiver Partnership said...



Thank you for your kind words of encouragement. Your tips are right on: quit smoking, stop eating junk and always get a good nights sleep. Our Founder, Lynn has always worn gloves when washing dishes.

We talk to tens of thousands of caregivers on the phone. From these discussions, we have a good idea of what the most pressing issues are. We research and write helpful information on these topics. We always appreciate commentary and tips to make the information even more useful.

organic skin products said...

Not everyone enjoys having wrinkly hands when they get old. It can't be prevented, but it can definitely be delayed. Nice post to show the different techniques of taking care of the skin, so that it won't get wrinkly right away.

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