Senior citizens experience a myriad of changes in almost every area of their bodies as they age, and the skin is no exception. As one age, the skin begins to sag, grows thinner and no longer bounces back the way it once did. Sun spots may also appear on skin that was unprotected during youth and adulthood. While people of all ages should take steps to protect their skin from the sun, seniors in Apple Valley are especially at risk for harm from these harsh rays. Follow these tips to stay safe while enjoying the beautiful weather this season.
- Choose sunscreen. A surprising 61 percent of adults over the age of 60 do not regularly apply sunscreen. Seniors should apply sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 at least a half hour before going outdoors. It should be a broad spectrum product to product from both types of rays. Of course, sunscreen should be applied by those who are sitting outdoors enjoying the warmth but also by those who are outdoors for any reason, such as for shopping or driving.
- Wear clothing with built-in UV protection. While dark clothes with a tight weave can block out many ultraviolet rays, this type of clothing can cause seniors to overheat. Light-colored clothing that fits loosely is best. Many brands today create clothing with UV protection of 30 to 50.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat. While applying sunscreen to the face and ears is necessary, a wide-brimmed hat can keep additional sun of the face and can also help keep seniors cool by providing much-needed shade.
- Wear sunglasses. Sunglasses are vital for protecting the eyes from ultraviolet rays if the sunglasses have UV protection.
- Stay inside during the hottest part of the day. If at all possible, seniors are encouraged to stay inside between 10 am and 2 pm. Not only are these some of the hottest hours in the day but also they are the hours when the sun is at its peak.
Studies have shown that aging skin is at increased risk of developing skin cancer when compared to a younger adult’s skin. Seniors should see their physicians annually and should check themselves for changing freckles or moles, which could indicate a type of skin cancer. Hospice care providers are also excellent resources for recommending sunscreens that really work for seniors’ aging skin.