Our skin changes greatly as we age. Over time, it will grow thinner, meaning that it is less able to protect and rejuvenate itself. Because of this, seniors must pay extra attention to caring for their skin during the summer. Here are a few summer skin safety tips for seniors that can help to keep you safe at all times.
Stay in the Shade
When you are outdoors, look for some shade rather than attempting to soak up the sun. Because the skin has already been subjected to a great number of UV rays over the course of time, sunburns and tanning can increase the risk of developing skin cancer. Schedule any outings for your loved one before 10:00 a.m. or after 4:00 p.m. on summer days. These hours are considered to be prime burning time because the suns UV rays are strongest in the middle of the day.
If you know that you will be out in the sun, choose appropriate clothing to provide adequate sun protection. Hats with wide brims can protect the sensitive skin on your loved one's face and neck, and lightweight, long-sleeve shirts and long pants can protect other areas.
Even on days where you plan to be indoors the majority of the time, it is best to apply sunscreen. Use a lotion with SPF 30 on all exposed skin. This will help to eliminate the majority of UV rays from affecting the skin negatively. You should also reapply the lotion throughout the day, especially after sweating or showering.
You might also want to remember bug spray, especially in areas that are prone to bugs during the summer. Seniors may be particularly vulnerable to certain diseases carried by mosquitoes and other insects.
It is also a good idea to look at the medication that you are taking during the summer. Some options, even those that are over-the-counter, can make the skin even more sensitive to the sun. Since seniors typically take more medication than others, this can make a difference. If you find that you have an unusual reaction to any medication, make sure that you talk to your doctor.
In addition to these items, it is also best that you consume a great deal of water during the hot months. Not only can this help to keep you from becoming dehydrated, it can also help you to avoid heat related skin issues.
After you arrive home with your loved one, help them compensate for any sun damage by moisturizing dry, irritated skin well. It is preferable to use lotions and creams without unnecessary ingredients for this job. Simply formulated lotions soothe irritated skin without leaving an oily residue that will get on clothing and furniture and potentially cause an accidental slip or fall.
Taking care of yourself during the summer is an important part of any senior’s life. With the added exposure to the sun possibility that is presented during this time of the year, protecting the skin is important. Contact your local Caring office to learn more about how we can help protect your senior this summer.