Sometimes, it can be difficult to resist the pull of the summer sunshine. Everyone loves soaking up some much needed vitamin D and feeling the warm rays on our skin. However, as we age, our skin starts to grow thinner and more fragile, and it needs to be protected more than ever. Damage from the sun is actually the greatest threat to our skin, so we need to make sure we’re taking the proper precautions before heading out on a hot summer day.
Elderly Skin Care in the Summer
It’s important to follow a few summer skin care tips to help avoid those damaging effects of the sun, which can lead to not only a painful sunburn, but also to something as serious as skin cancer.
- Stay in the shade. If you’re going to be spending some time outside this summer, make sure you pick a shady area to sit, especially if you have to be out during the hottest parts of the day (between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.). Stay under the trees or an umbrella that will block some of the strongest rays of the sun.
- Wear sunscreen at all times. Any time you’re heading outdoors, apply a good dollop of sunscreen on any exposed skin, especially your face. The sunscreen should be a water-resistant, broad-spectrum product that protects against both UVA (ultraviolet short-ray) and UVB (ultraviolet long-wave) rays, and look for an SPF of 30 or higher. Those harmful UV rays can pass through both clouds and glass, so it’s important to remember to reapply your sunscreen often, especially after sweating or showering.
- Moisturize often. Elderly skin can be prone to dryness, so a good moisturizer can help replenish your skin. Hot temperatures and sun damage can dry skin out even further, so create a moisture barrier with a high quality skin lotion or cream that will help prevent water loss from layers of skin.
- Dress appropriately. Keep your skin safe by wearing long sleeves and long pants to block out the sun. Look for clothing that can be worn loosely, but is woven tightly to offer more substantial coverage. Some clothing is even made specifically with UV protection to provide extra sun safety while you’re outside on a walk or gardening.
- Know your medication side effects. Some medications can cause sensitivity to the sun, making you more susceptible to serious sun damage like sunburn, blisters, swelling or rashes. If you aren’t sure of the side effects your medication may have with the sun, make sure you talk to your doctor or pharmacist before spending any great lengths of time outside.
- Improve your skin from the inside. Certain foods can help improve the condition of your skin’s firmness, like those high in omega-3 fatty acids; salmon, tuna and mackerel are all high in omega-3s. Veggies and fruits are high in antioxidants and therefore also great for keeping your skin looking younger and healthier. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water, too. Avoiding dehydration is vital in the summer.
For more information about American Senior Communities, please visit http://www.ascseniorcare.com.