Skin Care & How it Effects Aging
According to the National Institute of Aging
"Mary loved her skin, it stayed a glowing olive color all year long. As she aged she noticed she starting to get laugh lines and crows feet. Then a thought hit her, what other issues might she be having. Are these dark spots ok, does this mole look normal?"
Face it as your body gets older so does your skin. The layers of your skin get thinner and weaker, you become more prone to skin that splits or bleeds easily. Wounds take longer to heal.
Severe Dry Skin
If you suffer from dry skin, you know that itching and flaking can bother you all hours of the day. Some reasons for dry skin are:
- UV Damage
- Dry Climate
- Smoke Damage
Other problems can cause dry skin like diabetes and kidney disease. Using products with cheap ingredients like shampoos or soaps. Being allergic to a certain cosmetic product like deodorant. Because of aging your body is more prone to infections. Medications can make your body react more than it normally would leading to insomnia or itchy, painful flaking areas, if this happens please consult your doctor.
Skin care products like creams, lotions or oils can hydrate the skin and stop itching. It is best to use them after bathing because your body will absorb it better when the pores are open. Use warm water not hot.
The older you get the longer it takes for your body to heal itself that is why it is common to see older people with bruises. If you start to get bruises in unusual places please consult your doctor.
Saggy Skin & Wrinkles
Loose skin is caused by your collagen bonds weakening over time. This can be due to age, sun damage or just gravity. Smoking can speed up the process as can excessive tanning.
Dark Spots on the Skin
These spots are called age spots or liver spots. These are caused by frequent sun exposure, and can be found anywhere on the body. Watch these spots carefully because they have been related to cancer. To prevent skin spots use a sunscreen that is at least an SPF 50 or more.
One in five people will develop skin cancer in there life time. The main cause of skin cancer is sun/UV damage. In 2011 tanning beds were also directly related to cancer as well. There is a 75% survival rate with skin cancer if found early, but it can spread to other parts of the body so early detection is key.
There are 3 types of skin cancer:
- Basal Cell
- Squamous Cell Carcinoma
After the age of 60 you should check your skin on a regular basis and if you see any weird mole or spots consult your dermatologist. Here are the A-E rules of proper skin care.
- Asymmetry - The spots should look the same on both sides
- Border - Around the spot should be even
- Color - Should be only 1 color
- Diameter - No bigger than a pencil eraser
- Evolution - No change in the spot
Remember early detection is the key. Try limiting yourself to UV exposure to only a few hours per day. Keep in mind a little sun is healthy a lot can be dangerous. You are also more likely to get sunburned on a cloudy day or in the water. One way to protect your body from the sun is clothing with built in UV blockers.
Just because your skin is changing does not mean you can't do anything about it. Keep an eye out for odd looking spots and if you find anything abnormal consult your doctor right away.