5 Things You Need to Know About How to Keep Your Skin Looking Younger
Almost all seniors have problems with dry and fragile skin. Nearly 85 percent of older people develop a condition known as winter itch, which is caused by overheated, dry indoor air. Summer heat and low humidity can overwhelm the skin's natural protective barrier, causing water to evaporate. This is an important thing to remember if you live in sun-baked desert climates, especially in parts of the southwestern United States. The appearance of your skin generally reflects your hydration status, both inside and out of your body. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to drink water. In the summer when its hot, soft drinks and coffee are not the best choice because these tend to deplete your body of water. If you don't like to drink plain water, dilute your favorite juice, add lemon, limes and even cucumber slices to cool water to make it more appealing. What about that margarita with chips and guacamole? It tastes great but be sure to rehydrate with water after. Consider passing on salt on the rim. However, before increasing your water intake, be sure to ask your doctor if doing so is okay for you.
The symptoms of dry skin include:
Moisturizers come in two types: One coats your skin (barrier type) and holds moisture in, and the other kind contains proteins (colloids) to hold moisture onto the skin. Most common moisturizers provide a barrier to over your skin which helps hold in moisture. The more you get wet and dry, the more strip your skin of its own oils which are a natural body moisturizer. So, washing your hands frequently or swimming daily does not hydrate; instead it means you have to moisturize even more.
Consider bathing every other day to help combat dryness. Use moisturizers and lotions regularly. Avoid lotions that are scented. Always use lotions after washing your hands or bathing. Lotions containing lanolin (a natural oil) and no fragrance are less expensive and most effective. Protect your hands with gloves when you wash dishes, garden or do chores. Use a humidifier to raise the humidity level in your home, especially in the winter.
3. Cool Down
Rinse with a cool or lukewarm water when before you get out of the shower or bath. Dialing down the temperature can keep the surface of your skin cool and thus reduce rapid evaporation which depletes your skin of water. Use only warm water and try to avoid that soak in a hot tub. Always shower or bathe right away after getting out of a pool or hot spa, especially if it has chlorine in it.
4. Pat Down
Your skin is more fragile when it's been soaked with water. So patting yourself dry rather than rubbing with a towel is helpful to dry while avoiding skin irritation. Apply moisturizer immediately after your pat dry. Also try to avoid wearing rough fabrics, such as wool that can scratch your skin.
5. Protect From the Sun
The sun damages the skin more than anything else. The sun will damage and dry your skin and is a known cause of skin cancer. Moisturizers need to contain SPF protection. SPF stands for sun protection factor. Moisturizers that contain SPF will protect your skin as well as hydrate. The higher the SPF the better. The American Association of Dermatology (AAD) recommends a moisturizer with an SPF of at least 15 that is applied daily to all sun exposed areas, then reapplied every 2 hours.
You can achieve amazing results treating yourself for dry skin problems, however, call your primary care doctor or a dermatologist (a doctor who specializes in skin problems) if you have:
--Dry skin that doesn't respond to nonprescription treatments
--Severe itching that interferes with your ability to work or sleep
--Dry skin that cracks and bleeds, or becomes red, swollen and painful
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