Caring for the skin you're in
January 31, 2013
Keeping skin healthy as you age
Many people are surprised to learn that skin is the body's largest organ. In addition to being a protective cover, it maintains fluid and temperature control and makes sensation possible. That's why it's important to take good care of your skin as a part of your overall health and wellness regimen.
Skin care needs change throughout life. A young person may cope with oily skin or breakouts due to acne. Later in life, skin begins to thin and decrease the production of oily secretions. As a result, the skin may retain less moisture and becomes dry. Skin also tends to lose elasticity, which makes it more susceptible to damage, according to Roberto Penne-Casanova, M.D., a wound care specialist.
"I recommend that older people include moisturizing in their daily routine," Dr. Penne-Casanova said. "Lotion is fine for the hands and arms, but a cream-based moisturizer works best on legs and feet. Lotions and moisturizers should always contain vitamin E."
Skin care basics
- Keep dry skin clean and hydrated to reduce itchiness.
- Eat a well-balanced diet and drink plenty of water to nourish your skin.
- Avoid scratching, which can cause aging skin to tear, resulting in wounds.
- Wash skin with a mild soap and warm water. Remember to treat skin gently; do not use a rough washcloth.
- Apply skin moisturizer immediately after bathing; avoid open wounds and the area between toes.
- Do not soak damaged skin or apply tape to sensitive skin.
- Check your skin regularly for dryness, cracks or redness as well as for moles that have changed appearance.
If you notice any changes or areas of concern, see your doctor. With aging skin, it's important to treat problem areas quickly before they turn into hard-to-heal wounds.
If you need a physician, visit our Find a Doc or call (502) 629-1234 for a physician referral.