Winter Skincare for Seniors
Winter is upon us, and Mother Nature is not especially kind this time of year. With cold temperatures, harsh wind chills and a constant stream of snowfall, it is important to make sure you are protected from the elements. Seniors especially need to practice proper skin care during this season. As we age, our skin become thinner, loses fat, and no longer looks as smooth as it used to. Scratches, cuts, and bruises take longer to heal, wrinkles and age spots appear, and skin becomes dry and itchy. In the winter, dryness and itching are a major nuisance that can lead to more serious issues if not addressed. Practicing proper skin care is quick, simple, and essential during these winter months.
72% of our skin’s weight is water, so staying hydrated helps keep it maintained. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids throughout the day and eat foods high in water content like soup, fruit and vegetables.
Use a Humidifier
Humidifiers have a number of benefits besides just hydrating your skin. They also relieve sinus pressure and congestion, help speed up healing from winter ailments and they may even alleviate snoring.
This is perhaps the most obvious treatment, but it is also important: make sure you use adequate lotions or moisturizers, and apply when skin is moist. Avoid scented lotions as they may further irritate the skin. In general, the thicker the lotion, the more protection it offers.
Avoid Hot Water
When showering or bathing, make sure you use warm water instead of hot. It’s tempting to take long hot showers when we’re cold, but this is bad for dry skin. You might consider showering every other day, rather than daily, during the winter and avoid harsh soaps.
Be Cautious of Certain Medications
Some medicine can cause problems for your skin. For instance, they may destroy the lining of your nasal passages, which lead to nose bleeds. Medications for high blood pressure, cholesterol and allergies often cause dryness. If you are concerned about the negative effects your medication is having on your skin, consult with your physician for alternative options.
By Jeanne Hoban Director of Marketing Communications The Benjamin Rose Institute on Aging
Resident of neighborhood since 1956. Worked on East 185th street since 1970.