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How to Protect Your Skin as an Older Adult

Elderly Ladies Enjoying the Sunshine and Sea Breeze

It’s officially summer, and you’re probably spending more time outside. Sun exposure is important for a variety of reasons – it boosts mood and helps the body make Vitamin D, a vital nutrient. But added time in the sun also spells danger, especially for folks with aging skin. Sun protection is essential, but seniors have a few additional factors to worry about. As a result, the way you protect your skin will shift as you age. 

Our skin changes naturally over time. In some cases, it can become dry and itchy. In others, it can collect excess oil and feel thin. No matter what your skin type, know that there are steps you can take to boost safety and improve your complexion. Just remember to avoid spending too much time outside. Dehydration and various heat illnesses can be dangerous for seniors. When you venture outside, always remember to bring your on-the-go medical alert systemjust in case. In the meantime, here are a few everyday tasks you can do to protect yourself while enjoying time outside.

How to Use Sunscreen

Sun protection starts with sunscreen. We recommend a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. This lotion can prevent age spots and reduce your likelihood of developing skin cancer. It can also relieve and protect thin or dry skin.

When picking out your sunscreen formula, you should know that there are two types of sun protection: mineral sunscreens and chemical sunscreens. Chemical sunscreens are often cheaper and more widely available, but they don’t protect against all UVA rays. By contrast, mineral sunscreens provide a shield over the skin’s top, acting as a physical blocker of UV rays. They’re more expensive and harder to find, but mineral sunscreens have a wider protection spectrum. If you’re not sure which you should use, talk to your doctor. 

Use a Moisturizer

Moisturizers often have SPF in the formula, which can allow you to seamlessly add sunscreen to your daily skin regimen. Importantly, moisturizers can help treat and repair sunburned skin. The lotion can trap water inside the skin, easing any dryness that accompanies sun damage. Choose options that include aloe vera or soy to help soothe your skin after spending time outside. If you’re having trouble finding an option, know that most magazines publish lists of the best moisturizers with SPF

Schedule Regular Visits with a Dermatologist

Dermatologist Evaluating Patients Skin

The older a person gets, the more susceptible they are to sun damage and sun-related cancers. If you’ve had skin cancer in the past, or if you notice a worrisome rash or mole after spending time in the sun, visit a dermatologist. More importantly, scheduling annual visits with a dermatologist is a good way to track how your skin changes over time. This allows you to catch problems early, which leads to a better prognosis. 

Bring Your Medical Alert System

Spending time in the sun increases a person’s likelihood of developing a heat-related illness, like dehydration or heat stroke. While dangerous on their own, these conditions can become life threatening for older adults. If you’re spending a lot of time outside, always remember to bring your medical alert system. This will ensure you get the help you need in the case of an emergency – whether that means fainting, feeling dizzy, or measuring a rapid pulse. If you’re having trouble finding a medical alert system that works with your lifestyle, consider the offerings from Alert1