For older adults, skin care can be quite important. However, it is often overlooked. Your skin changes as you age, and it is much more fragile in your golden years. Because of this, proper care is vital. Below, we will discuss some of the most common skin issues that affect older adults, and how to remedy them.

Dry or Itchy Skin

As you age, your skin produces less natural oils meant to hydrate and protect your skin. This leads to dryness, loss of elasticity, and itchiness. Some medications can also contribute. Medications for cholesterol and blood pressure commonly cause dryness as a side effect.
Use lotion and moisturizer to keep the skin hydrated and reduce itchiness. If it persists, talk to your loved one’s doctor or dermatologist.


In general, older individuals are more prone to bruising. As the skin thins and becomes more fragile, it becomes easier to get a bruise. Additionally, blood vessels tend to thin with age, so this can contribute. Even minor bumps can cause bruises at an advanced age. Bruises may take longer to fade with age, as well.
Bruises can also get worse with blood thinner medication. If intense bruising is common, especially from minor bumps, you should talk to their doctor. Bruises can also be a signal for elder abuse. Be mindful and talk with your loved one if they have frequent new bruises.

Age Spots

Age spots are flat, brown spots that are caused by sun exposure. As the skin weakens, the sun can have more of an impact on it. Age spots are most commonly found on the face, hands, and arms. Overall, age spots are harmless, but may not be aesthetically pleasing for your loved one. Some serums and other beauty products may help with age spots. If you notice age spots growing or changing color over time, talk with your loved one’s doctor. That may be a sign that it could be skin cancer instead.

Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is a type of abnormal cell growth that occurs on or within the dermis. It is generally caused by UV exposure. Regular dermatologist appointments can help ensure that skin cancer is caught early if it occurs.

Skin Tags

Soft growths of skin can occur almost anywhere on the body. These are known as skin tags. They often appear on the neck or in the armpits, Generally, they occur where skin commonly rubs against itself or clothes. Body folds and love handles can also grow tags. They are more likely in those with a genetic predisposition for them, or those with conditions such as diabetes or obesity. Tags contain blood and sometimes nerves. Because of this, you should not try to remove them yourself. Visit a dermatologist to remove skin tags.

Bed Sores

When you stay in a position for too long, the pressure of your body on that area can create ulcers on the skin or tissues below it. These are called bed sores. They are commonly found in older adults and disabled individuals with mobility issues. The heels, ankles, hips, and tailbone are the most common areas affected.
The best way to treat bed sores is to encourage your loved one to shift in bed frequently, or to get out of bed when possible. Bed sores are more likely to occur in poor hygiene conditions. Additionally, they can occur if the individual lays back in bed while still wet, such as after bathing. Encourage them to dry off completely after bathing. As mobility issues are a common cause of bed sores, they may require assistance when shifting in bed to prevent them. In cases of extreme mobility loss, barrier cream can be an effective tool in preventing bed sores. A home health aide may also help treat and prevent bed sores.

Elderly Skin Care

Generally, proper care for the skin at any age is important. With age, it becomes even more vital. Firstly, help your loved one stay hydrated. Hydration is an important part of regulating all aspects of the body. Regular bathing is important for skin care, but excessively hot water can cause dryness. Help encourage your loved ones to take warm or lukewarm showers or baths. Protect your loved one’s skin when they go outdoors. Sunhats, sunscreen, and sun-protection-rated clothing are all great options for older adults. Encourage them to moisturize regularly. Massaging the moisturizer into the skin can also improve blood flow and reduce the longevity of bruises.

Safe Harbor Healthcare Services does not provide medical, healthcare, or financial advice via articles. This material has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for medical advice.
Safe Harbor Healthcare Services has provided excellent home care on Staten Island since 1967. Our services help older and disabled individuals live safely and independently; while giving their families the peace of mind they need. For more information contact us or call (718)-979-6900.