Health

Common problems for older skin and how to fix them

Dry skin on the heels can ruin the look of a a great pair of sandals.

You might have noticed that your skin has undergone a few changes as you’ve reached your 60s and beyond. It’s natural, and your lifestyle will dictate just how dramatic those changes are.

The biggest cause of skin damage is obviously sun exposure. If you spent hours tanning under the sun’s rays as a youngster you will no doubt have noticed that your skin isn’t as tight as it once was. You might have a few more wrinkles than you would otherwise like, and you may have patches where you skin has been frozen, burnt or cut as a result of having cancers removed.

Read more: Six tips to soothe your sunburnt skin

But did you know that there are several other skin changes that occur as you get older, including dry our rough skin, growths such as cherry angiomas, sagging skin, and transparent or thin skin.

Wrinkles

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Obviously, wrinkles are the most obvious sign your skin is ageing. They can occur as a result of your facial expressions, sun damage, smoking, dehydration, medication you might be taking, and even as a result of your genetic make-up.

There’s no way to ‘cure’ wrinkles, but if you are particularly concerned about the appearance of your wrinkles you can undergo treatments that will soften the look of them. Medications that contain retinoids derived from vitamin A are said to help, but there are also surgical options such as dermabrasion, laser therapy, botox, chemical peels and facelifts.

Read more: Natural ways to repair sun damaged skin

Dry skin

You can have naturally dry skin, but even those of you who have oily skin can develop dry skin every now and again. It’s most common on your hands, feet, arms and legs and can be caused by exposure to certain environmental conditions, hot water, or chemicals. Dry skin can also be a result of an underlying medical condition – such a diabetes, kidney disease or liver disease.

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Dryness can be uncomfortable, causing your skin to become itchy, scaly and even crack, so while it might seem obvious, the best thing you can do is moisturise. Moisturisers are good at trapping the moisture thereby keeping your skin hydrated. If regular ‘dry skin’ moisturisers aren’t enough to give you relief, though, you should see your doctor for more effective emollients. 

Read more: What your skin is telling you about your inner health

Age spots

You’ll know you’ve got age spots by the brown patches that appear on your skin, but especially on the sun-exposed parts of your body (the face, hands, arms, legs). They occur when your skin is exposed to the sun and while they are generally harmless you might want to be rid of them because they don’t make you feel good about your appearance.

Professional laser treatments are effective for this, but fading creams can also work, although it’s best to seek advice from your doctor before using these creams on delicate skin. Otherwise, camouflage make-up is better than ever these days, and a trip to the beauty halls at your nearest department store can be the source of great advice on the latest technology in cosmetics.

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Read more: Five home remedies to tackle your age spots

Bedsores

Bedsores are commonly found when pressure has been applied from lying in bed or sitting in a chair for a long period of time. If you have difficulty moving on your own, this is a condition you need to be aware of. If you have diabetes you are also at an increased risk of developing bedsores because your circulation is diminished and you have a decreased sense of feeling in your skin.

Ensuring you don’t end up with bedsores is relatively simple though – keep moving. Be sure you rotate your sitting or sleeping position to help you prevent bedsores.

Have you encountered any of these common skin complaints? Do you have a routine you follow to keep your skin looking good? Share it with us.

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