Jan 31, 2018 by Comfort Keepers Denver
The winter can be a dangerous season for seniors, for many reasons. From slippery driveways to freezing temperatures, being unprepared and underly-cautious can lead to some serious consequences.
Winter is also notorious for leaving even the most smooth-skinned beauties dry and cracked. Seniors are especially susceptible to this winter side effect, as our skin becomes naturally drier, thinner, and more delicate as we age.
Some conditions, such as senile purpura (skin that’s easily bruised) or shingles are exacerbated by winter’s effects, leading to overall itchy skin or rashes like:
What can be done to salvage senior skin? Here are some tips for skin management this chilly season:
You may already be bundling up because of the cold, but covering your skin from frosty winds and the dry outside air can help keep your skin more moisturized. It’s especially important to wear gloves and heavy-duty footwear (warm socks and shoes/boots), as these parts of the body are most susceptible to windburn and frostbite.
You may be less inclined to drink water this season compared to the sweaty summer months, but it’s still important to stay hydrated. Not only does it help our body with most of its functions (ranging from digestion to even mood), but it also helps our skin.
A quick way to tell how hydrated you are is to check the color of your urine, if you’re not on any medications that may affect this. If it’s light yellow or even clear, you’re good to go. If it’s darker yellow or a concerning color like deep orange, you need to drink up.
On those winter days that are sunny yet still seemingly gloomy, you wouldn’t think to put on sunscreen – but these days can actually really get you sunburnt. The sun reflecting off of any bright white snow can intensify the burn, so if you’re not sufficiently covered up, put on sunscreen on any exposed skin before you go out.
It’s important for seniors to moisturize anyways, but it is vital during winter months. Dry, cracked skin can be not only annoying to deal with, but painful.
Moisturize right after you get out of the shower or bath, along with any time you may feel dry. Depending on your personal situation, a normal skin lotion may work wonderfully for you, but others may need more intense moisture. Look for heavier creams or ointments that can help with more intense dryness or skin cracking. Petroleum jelly may also work, though it tends to be a bit greasy. You may have to try several products before finding the right fit for you. If needed, a dermatologist can help you out with this.
Humidifiers can help bring some life back into your home by moisturizing that dry winter air. This environment can help your skin immensely.
With these tips, you’ll keep your skin soft and smooth this frigid winter!