Dry, itchy skin is the worst. It’s also a problem because your senior might scratch and fragile skin can tear easily, leading to infections and other problems. As your elderly family member’s caregiver, you’re going to be the one helping her to find solutions for dry, itchy winter skin.
Be Careful Outdoors and Bundle Up
Wind, cold, and watery precipitation are more than just part of winter. They’re also factors that can dry out your senior’s skin. The best way to protect her skin from these elements is to bundle up thoroughly, covering any exposed skin. Hats, scarves, coats, mittens, and all sorts of other winter weather gear are definitely going to keep your senior warm, but they’ll also help to protect her skin.
She Needs Water
Water is vital for life, of course, but it’s a vital part of keeping your senior’s skin from drying out. The best skincare happens from within, which means drinking plenty of water regularly. The other thing to consider, though, is that winter air is naturally drier and then heating, whether it’s central heating or a fire in the fireplace, also dries out the air. Using a humidifier can help, too.
Hot Showers and Baths Are Counterproductive
Hot baths and showers might feel good to your senior, but they can be incredibly drying to her skin. Hot water tends to draw moisture out of the skin, which is not what you want to have happen too often for your senior. Shortening baths and showers can help a lot with this issue, but the best thing to do is to try to aim for water temperatures that are just a little bit cooler.
Moisturizers and Lotions Do Help
Lotions and moisturizers can help a great deal with dry skin, but if your senior’s skin is extremely dry from a combination of the issues listed above, it’s really difficult to combat that kind of dryness with lotion alone. It’s going to require making sure she’s properly hydrated and protecting her skin in other ways. Barrier lotions and creams can help with that.
You may have to try a combination of different techniques to find the ones that work the best for your senior. As she gets some relief, she’ll find that she’s a little more comfortable and a lot less itchy. That can lead her to all sorts of benefits that make life easier for her.
If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Sterling, VA, please contact the caring staff at Assisting Hands today. (703) 982-0050.