Fragile skin is a problem for senior people

fragile skin is a problem for senior people.

sore hands

If you’re like me and have an elderly parent, you’ve probably seen what happens when they graze, scratch, or cut their paper thin skin. The wounds my mother has suffered over the last 5 to 10 years would make even the toughest person cringe, and it’s frightening how frail we become in our senior years. My mother’s skin has undoubtedly changed dramatically with age. Her skin gradually became drier, thinner, more delicate, and less elastic, and she now rips her skin open far too easily whilst gardening.

In your senior years, your skin tone will change, and you may develop unsightly brown spots in addition to having paper-thin skin. Years of cumulative sun exposure can result in both benign growths and skin cancer. Medication and ongoing medical conditions can make skin more prone to bleeding and bruising. 

Sun exposure has a significant impact on the appearance of skin. Areas of our bodies that are constantly exposed to the sun, such as your arms and legs, are more likely to develop dark spots than areas of our bodies that are almost always covered, such as the chest and stomach.    Elasticity loss may be accelerated, and the skin may appear weathered.

Avoid the Sun during peak periods and cover up

cover up from the Sun

The last thing you want to do in your golden years is make it too easy for the sun to harm you, so wear long-sleeved pants and shirts, a hat, and sunscreen whenever you are exposed to the sun’s rays. It’s a good idea to get out into the garden early in the day and complete all of the work you want to do in the un-shaded areas of your yard before 10 to 11 a.m.    Spend as little time as possible in the midday sun. The sun’s rays are at their strongest between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.   After you’ve had a nice healthy lunch, make sure to only work in your yard’s shaded or covered areas.


Skin cancer is common in seniors, and my mother has had so many removed that I believe it has become routine for her. Skin cancer clinics in Australia are undoubtedly busy treating melanoma, which can be fatal, as well as non-melanoma cancers such as basal and squamous cell carcinoma. Melanoma screening every six months is critical for people aged 70 and up. Epiluminescence microscopy, also known as dermoscopy, is a non-invasive medical procedure used to detect melanoma early. A handheld device can be used by a doctor to assess the patterns of size, shape, and pigmentation in pigmented skin lesions.

Take very good care of your Fragile Skin

elderly woman

Hopefully, no one over the age of 70 is still smoking, and I sincerely hope you never started or quit a long time ago. Smoking has a well-known ageing effect on skin, causing thinning, discoloration, drying, and wrinkling. Another reason to stop smoking is to maintain healthy skin.

Anyone can develop dry skin, also known as xerosis, but it’s more common as people age and frequently manifests on the forearms and lower legs. Dry skin feels flaky, looks dull, and feels rough. Fine cracks or fissures may develop in the skin as dryness worsens. Pruritus, or itching, frequently goes hand in hand with dry skin. When our skin becomes dry, we must exercise restraint. Yes, it will itch, but resist the urge to scratch, as doing so devastates the skin.

Moisturizing regularly with lotion helps prevent dry skin. Woolworths sell a pretty good lotion called Dermal Therapy Anti-itch soothing lotion for $16 and a very dry skin lotion by the same company for $18.    Also, take it easy on your skin.   I recently discovered that as we age, we should use lukewarm water rather than hot water and take fewer showers and baths. 

Hot baths and showers can cause skin irritation, including a sunburn-like rash, redness, itching, and even peeling. Furthermore, they can disrupt the skin’s natural moisture balance, depriving you of the beneficial oils, fats, and proteins that are naturally present. Be gentle with your skin; don’t scrub it with a washcloth or sponge, and avoid irritating soaps and abrasive skin cleansers.

In summary, get regular check-ups via your GP, 6 monthly skin cancer checks at the clinic or your GP, avoid the sun and take precautions when you can’t, develop a skin care routine.

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