Skin is your body’s largest organ. It weights right around 8 pounds and, on average, is 22 square feet. Its main purpose is to protect the body. It guards against damage from chemicals, sunlight and extreme temperatures. It converts sunlight into vitamin D, and it keeps the brain in touch with the outside world. Pretty important stuff.
As one ages, elastin and collagen decrease in production. These proteins are responsible for your tendons and ligaments and the strength of your skin. Elastin provides the stretchiness and flexibility of your skin. You push a finger into your skin and it bounces back—until it doesn’t. There are tips and techniques to help your aging parent’s skin remain strong and supple into their elderly years.
From the Inside out
Foods and nutrients help keep collagen and elastin production up. These include foods rich in vitamin C such as guavas, red bell peppers, strawberries, tomatoes and citrus fruits. Vitamins B-complex and E contribute to collagen production. Foods high in these nutrients include leafy greens, beans, fortified cereals, nuts and seeds. Phytoestrogens help slow down the loss of collagen and elastin and can be found in beans, flaxseeds, and split peas.
Staying hydrated is crucial to the health of skin. If you do not drink enough, the skin becomes dry, tight and flaky. Not only can you keep the skin hydrated by drinking sufficient amounts of water (6 to 8 glasses a day), you can also help it stay hydrated by applying hydrating moisturizers.
Cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, which removes oxygen from your skin. It also contains nicotine, which reduces blood flow and causes dry and discolored skin. SmokeFree 60+ is a government sponsored website that provides support for seniors trying to break the habit.
From the Outside in
The skin best absorbs hydrating moisturizers following a bath or shower. In fact, it is recommended that these types of lotions be applied within minutes following these activities. Products containing hyaluronic acid help retain moisture, and products with alpha-hydroxy acids help break down thick, dry skin cells. In addition, use a gentle cleaner without harsh chemicals or alcohol, which can be very drying. A lactic acid lotion has also been shown to improve skin condition.
Using a humidifier in the home will help add moisture to the air, and wearing cotton and other natural-fiber clothing will allow the skin to breathe. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends wearing a sunscreen with a SPF of 15 or higher.
Elderly Care Provider
An elderly care provider can help your parent with the daily tasks of bathing, dressing, preparing meals, light housekeeping, providing transportation and running errands. They can help your aging parent remember to take care of their skin by applying a moisturizer and sunscreen, eating skin-healthy meals and keeping a glass of water by their side. They can also provide the respite care that you need in order to keep your own skin healthy and lead a balanced life.
If you or an aging loved one are considering elderly care Amberley, OH, please contact the caring staff at Queen City Elder Care today. Serving Cincinnati and Surrounding Communities. Call Us Today (513) 510-4410.
Michele Vollmer is a visionary leader who is perpetually searching for ways to improve, so to remain at the leading edge of the home care industry.She has served in the healthcare industry since 1989, including pharmaceutical and home health sales, as well as hospice sales and sales management.
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