October 16, 2020
When your senior is experiencing dry skin, it might be itchy or she might describe her skin as feeling tight. Scratching dry skin is a really bad idea, but that’s usually the first urge. Here are some ideas that can actually bring your senior some relief.
Determine What’s Contributing to the Dry Skin
There is a wide range of possible factors contributing to dry skin. Your elderly family member might not be getting enough water on a daily basis, or she may be dealing with side effects from medications. It’s important to try to rule out all of the possible causes so that your senior can start to get some relief. One issue that could be at play is that humidity levels in your senior’s home could be too low. Adding a humidifier can offer quick results.
Bring Down the Water Temperature
A hot bath or shower can feel great, in the moment. But if your elderly family member has dry skin already, that hot water leeches out moisture from her skin. That just compounds the problem she’s already trying to manage. Hot water can also be a scalding hazard, so it’s important to double-check the temperature on the water heater and lower it just a little if it’s still set fairly high.
Be Careful Drying Skin After Bathing
After your senior gets out of the bath or shower, how she treats her skin matters. Older skin is already fragile, but when it’s damp it’s even more fragile. Drying her skin too roughly can cause small scrapes that she might not even be aware of at first. It’s much better to use a soft towel to pat your senior’s skin dry. It can also be a good idea to leave the skin a tiny bit damp, especially if you’re about to apply moisturizer.
Incorporate Lotions and Moisturizers More Often
Lotions and moisturizers can add a little bit of moisture to your senior’s skin, but what they do really well is help to lock in the moisture that is already there. That’s why often when your senior’s skin is dry, just adding lotion doesn’t always help quickly. Applying lotion after a shower when her skin is still damp can help your elderly family member’s skin to absorb more of that hydration.
If your elderly family member needs help with bathing or other personal care tasks, home care providers can make sure that she’s safe and has the assistance she needs.