Skin care for elderly

Skin announces the onset of old age with cracks, wrinkles, and spot long before any of us are ready for it, but usually the sags and blemishes are simply ego deflators, caused not simply by age, but by all the time in the glorious sun. When we become quite old, however, skin problems are no longer simple issues of vanity. 

Older skin is thinner and less oily, so it tends to be drier and susceptible to bruises, infections and rashes.

For the elders, there is a very common skin disease --- senile pruritus, where paroxysmal itchiness occur at the skin, the skin become dry and thin, desquamation occur on the skin.

The cause of senile pruritus can be differentiated to physiological factor and pathological factor, where the physiological are due to decrease of hormones, changes in endocrine secretion, etc.; the pathological are due to diabetes, liver diseases, abnormalities in thyroid gland etc.

In TCM theories, we believe that senile pruritus is related to the changes in qi-blood and yin-yang of the body. Elders are commonly deficit in liver and kidney, qi blood and fluid are all depleted, the skin are malnourished, wind and dampness battle at skin and cause pruritus.

Senile pruritus are closely related to the living habits, making nursing care of elders important, there are a few points we have to take note of during daily activities:

- Elders should not shower too often, preferably 3-4times a week

- Water temperature should be controlled at around 40℃

- Use neutral soap, and it would be best if skin care product with more lipid content (vaseline, glycerin etc.) are applied after shower when the skin is still damp

- Elders should choose only 100% cotton clothes and inner wear, the clothes should be washed before wearing

At last, as a friendly reminder, all elders should always maintain delightful mood to divert the attention towards ‘itchiness’, otherwise scratching continuously will lead to thickening of skin and even infection. Besides, elders should be careful with the usage of medication, preferably taking medicine with the guidance of doctors.


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