Lots of older adults suffer from thin skin. It’s a normal part of aging that usually happens because of the skin being damaged by the sun’s rays, some medications, and certain lifestyle factors, like smoking and drinking alcohol. Thin skin is a problem because it tears and bruises more easily. Understanding thin skin and how to cope with it can help you avoid skin injuries in your aging relative.
About Thin Skin…
Skin is comprised of three layers and each has different functions. The layers of the skin are:
-Epidermis: This is the surface layer of skin. It keeps dirt and bacteria from entering the body.
-Dermis: The dermis is the middle layer of skin where nerves and blood vessels are found.
-Hypodermis: This is the deepest layer of skin and is made up of fat, sweat glands, and tissue.
When an older adult has thin skin, it means that their epidermis isn’t as thick as it once was. Sometimes the hypodermis loses some of its fat later, too, leaving less cushion for the body.
When a senior has thin skin, you may notice some of these symptoms:
- The skin has a transparent quality.
- Veins, bones, and tendons are easier to see.
- Skin damages easily, so the person might get cuts, scratches, and bruises frequently.
- Skin looks less plump.
- Tips for Managing Thin Skin
Managing thin skin is really a matter of preventing injuries and keeping skin moisturized. Some things that can be done to deal with the problem are:
-Keep Arms and Legs Covered: Long-sleeved shirts and long pants can help to protect the skin. It may even be a good idea to wear two layers of clothing depending on the activity the senior will be participating in. Some people cut the toes out of long tube socks leaving a strip between the thumb and pointer finger to use as arm coverings. They fit snugly so they don’t get in the way, they’re washable, and they don’t cost a lot of money.
-Protect Skin from Sun: Senior’s with thin skin should avoid spending too much time in the sun. When they are exposed to the sun, they should wear sunscreen with an SPF of at least 15.
-Bandage Carefully: When the skin is injured, it must be bandaged carefully as removing an adhesive bandage may also tear the skin. When applying a gauze bandage, use as little tape as possible. Before removing the bandage, try wetting it with a damp cloth and waiting a bit before carefully taking it off.
A home care provider can assist your aging relative to manage thin skin. Home care providers can help turn tube socks to arm protectors and aid the senior in putting them on. They can also remind the older adult to wear long sleeves and pants. Home care providers can assist the senior to apply sunscreen and moisturizers, too. Should the person get an injury, a home care provider can carefully clean and bandage it.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Elder Care in Upland, CA, contact the caring staff at No Place Like Home Homecare today at 951-382-5266.