You’ve noticed that your mom’s skin is drier than it’s ever been. It’s so dry it’s flaking in some areas. Should you be worried, or is this just another of the downsides to aging?
Dry Skin Is Common
As you age, collagen and elastin production decreases. Your skin becomes thinner and less elastic, which can lead to the crepe paper appearance. It becomes dry. Wrinkles appear, and the skin may look dull and blotchy.
Choosing foods that are high in antioxidants helps. Drinking enough water is also crucial to skin health. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and seeds, should be part of the daily diet. Berries, leafy green vegetables, and healthy fats like olive oil and walnut oil are also beneficial.
If the air within your mom’s home is dry, a humidifier adds moisture to the air. That can help keep the skin from drying out and feeling itchy.
Skin Care Essentials Help Prevent Dry Skin
Washing skin with a mild cleanser is best to retain oils and moisture. Don’t use bar soap unless it’s natural and contains ingredients like goat’s milk. Use a fragrance-free body wash or face wash that avoids harsh chemicals and ingredients.
When bathing, your mom should use warm water. Hot water takes away the skin’s natural oils, which is drying. Instead of using a scrub brush, use the hands or a soft washcloth to wash the skin. Skipping a daily shower now and then also helps.
Before drying off, apply a body cream that’s unscented and approved by dermatologists. Do this before drying off, as this traps moisture below the skin’s top layer. Ideally, make sure your mom applies the moisturizer within a few minutes of stepping out of the shower.
When Should You Talk to a Doctor?
Atopic dermatitis typically appears during childhood, but it can also appear in older adults. When it does occur, it can be embarrassing as well as itchy and irritating. Anything from the foods you eat to stress can cause a flare-up. If your mom has eczema linked to allergens, stress, or the foods she eats, talk to her doctor.
It’s worth having her see a dermatologist if it’s a skin condition like eczema or psoriasis. If it is, dietary changes or some topical medications may help. With personal care at home, she’ll have someone to remind her when it’s time to apply more cream to the patch that’s dry and irritated.
Personal care at home assists with all aspects of hygiene and grooming. Have caregivers help your mom with her skincare regimen. They can help her apply creams in hard-to-reach areas, schedule follow-up appointments, or shop for the best creams to soothe her dry skin. Personal care at home services are easily arranged by making a call.