Protecting your skin is important at all stages of life. However as a person ages, their skin becomes more delicate and therefore needs more protection and care. During the harsh, summer months, senior citizens are more susceptible to having skin problems, but that doesn’t mean that they should have to forgo outdoor activities because of sensitive skin. With a health conscious mind and these skin care tips, you can spend less time worrying about your skin this summer and more time enjoying the activities you love!
- Bug Bites: Getting bitten by insects during the summer is never pleasurable for anyone at any age. Between the itching and possible transmission of diseases, getting bitten by a mosquito or other summer insect is something that should be avoided all together. To avoid getting bitten by bugs, make sure to apply bug spray, following the directions on the bottle. Wearing long sleeved clothing during dusk and evening hours can also serve as an extra precautionary measure as it will make it harder for pesky insects to reach your skin. If you do happen to get bitten, treating the afflicted areas with a solution specifically made to relieve itching will help prevent scratching, which can lead to open bites and scars on the skin.
- Sun Protection: Protecting your skin from the sun seems like a no-brainer, however, it is even more important to do so when you’re older. If you live in a senior living community and are unable to apply sunscreen to all areas of your body, a caregiver will be there to assist you. Applying sunscreen is vital because sunburn becomes harder to heal as certain cells in the body have a harder time repairing the damage, which can ultimately lead to infection. Applying sunscreen liberally and wearing clothes that cover your skin as much as possible, while still being breathable will help block harmful rays. Don’t forget to protect your eyes and head with sunglasses and a hat!
- Dry Skin: With the heat, you’ll most likely have the air conditioner running at various points throughout the summer. While it provides a nice chill, it can also cause dry skin. Dry skin is irritating and painful, especially with the constant need to scratch it. To prevent your skin from becoming dry, make applying a moisturizer that is gentle on skin and free from harsh chemicals a part of your daily routine.
- Shade: Protecting your skin from the sun doesn’t just stop at sunscreen and protective clothing. The sun can still sneak up on you and cause unknown skin damage if exposed for too long. To prevent this from happening, it is always a good idea to spend most of your time outside in a shady spot that blocks you from a direct hit from the sun. Staying in the shade will not only help your skin, but it will also keep your body temperature down, reducing the risk of heat stroke.
- Chlorine: Taking a leisurely swim is relaxing and a great summer activity. The only down side to this great form of exercise is the effect chlorine can have on your skin. Chlorine is known to cause pre-mature aging of the skin for younger people and can lead to lasting damage for senior citizens with already-aged skin. Chlorine can also cause skin irritation, which can be a pain. To prevent this irritation, it is best to limit your time in a chlorine treated pool and to always rinse off after a swim.
Don’t let your skin concerns affect how you spend your time during the summer. The tips above will ensure that your skin is protected while you enjoy outdoor activities!
About The Author
Ruthie Folger Weiss loves writing for Heritage Center, a rehabilitation and senior care center in Minster, OH.