Skin changes as one ages: skin care during the summer
Warm summer weather brings an opportunity to wear lighter clothing and notice one’s skin. Skin, the largest organ in the body, is vitally important for good health, providing a protective barrier against infection, helping to regulate body temperature and providing the sensation of touch.
Skin changes as one ages, becoming thinner, dryer, having fewer sweat and oil glands, is injured more easily and heals more slowly than the skin of a younger person. Good skin care is vital, not a luxury.
The Institute on Aging provides the following skin care tips:
- Keep skin clean, using a gentle soap without fragrances.
- Look for and evaluate dry skin patches. Possible causes of dry skin include not drinking enough liquids, being in very dry air and feeling stress. Dry skin can also be caused by health problems, such as diabetes or kidney disease. If you don’t know what is causing your rough scaly skin discuss it with your doctor. Consider using moisturizers, lotions, creams or ointments, every day.
- Older people may bruise more easily than younger people. Some medicines or illnesses may also cause bruising. Talk to your doctor if you see bruises and don’t know how you got them.
- Don’t get scammed by miracle “wrinkle cream” claims. Talk with a dermatologist if you want to know if a product is effective.
- Watch age spots, skin tags, moles and birthmarks for changes. Check your skin once a month for the “ABCDE” signs of skin cancer:
A=Asymmetry: One half of the growth looks different than the other half
B=Borders: The edges look irregular
C=Color: Changes in color or different colors
D=Diameter: The diameter of growth is greater than the size of a pencil eraser
E=Evolving: The growth is changing in size, shape, symptoms, surface or shades of color.
Skin care is vital for everyone, and all the more as we age.
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