Everyone gets dry skin sometimes. But seniors are prone to developing a medical condition called Xerosis which is extremely dry and flakey skin. Xerosis is very common among seniors and if it’s not treated it can cause infections and other problems. It’s also very uncomfortable. November is National Healthy Skin month so it’s a great time to learn more about this skin disorder that affects millions of seniors.
What Causes Xerosis?
As people get older their skin becomes thinner and loses a lot of moisture and elasticity. Natural aging combined with things like certain medications which cause dry skin as a side effect and taking very hot showers or living in a place that is very dry can cause Xerosis. Some other factors that can contribute to Xerosis are:
- Using central heating and air conditioning
- Spending time in a hot dry indoor environment
- Scrubbing the skin too often
- Using harsh soaps and cleansers
- Frequent bathing
- Lots of sun exposure
Dehydration can also play a role in the development of Xerosis. Seniors are chronically dehydrated so it’s a good idea to do whatever you can to get your senior loved one to drink more water. Home care assistance can be a big help getting seniors to stay hydrated. A home care assistance provider can encourage your senior loved one to drink water on a regular basis. They can also make sure that your senior loved one isn’t getting too much sun.
What Are The Symptoms of Xerosis?
Dry skin by itself may not be Xerosis. It’s common for people to get dry skin during the winter when they are stuck indoors and the heat is on high, or when they are spending a lot of time in the sun during the summer. Xerosis is characterized by extremely dry skin that flakes excessively or cracks. If your senior loved one’s skin is cracking it’s important that you take them to the doctor to get antibiotics and to have their skin checked before any bacteria can cause a bad infection.
How Is Xerosis Treated?
Seniors are aging in place often can get relief from the symptoms of Xerosis at home. Having home care assistance will ensure that seniors are getting the care they need to ease their discomfort and heal the skin. After making sure there is no infection home treatments for Xerosis that may be effective include:
Regular application of creams and lotions designed to treat aging skin. Look for oil based lotions instead of water based lotions. Mineral oil applied regularly to the skin can help. So can aloe applied directly to the dry or flaking skin. Limit baths and showers and when your senior loved one does bathe the water should be only lukewarm instead of hot. Petroleum jelly applied to the hands and feet and then covered with socks or gloves and left on overnight can help heal and soften skin while providing some relief from any itching.
If you or an aging loved one needs Home Care Assistance in Elk Grove, CA, remember Senior Home Care Services. Call us at (916) 514-7006 for more information.
- Consider Gift Ideas for Alzheimer’s During Safe Toys and Gifts Month - December 8, 2021
- 5 Stages of Grief a Senior Goes Through When Diagnosed With a Chronic Condition - November 30, 2021
- Talking With Your Siblings About Caring For A Senior Parent - November 22, 2021