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Drier weather causes dry, itchy skin, even during a mild winter like the one we’re having here in Rockland County. Seniors are especially vulnerable: as we age skin becomes thinner and produces less oil, which can lead to dryness and discomfort. Following are some tips to keep senior skin comfortable during the winter months.
Less water on, more water in.
Hot showers may seem like a good way to warm up, but hot water strips oils from the skin, leading to dryness. To keep warm, opt for drinking warm or hot water instead of taking a hot shower. Drinking plenty of water helps skin stay hydrated from the inside out.
Use the right lotion.
Lotions can work wonders when applied after a shower and after hand washing. Just make sure you choose the right one! Avoid heavily fragranced and alcohol based lotions, which can cause irritation.
Treat dry hands to a spa day.
Petroleum jelly and cotton spa gloves can make all the difference for dry hands. Apply petroleum jelly, pull on the gloves, and relax for an hour. When you’re done, your hands will thank you!
A humidifier can make the air more comfortable and reduce dryness, especially when run overnight. Stay safe and choose a humidifier that can be filled easily and has an automatic shut-off.
Choose clothes carefully.
Opt for natural fibers like cotton that are less likely to irritate skin. Wash clothing in detergent that is free from dyes and fragrances, which can be irritating when skin is extra sensitive.
Cover-ups and sunscreen aren’t just for summer!
Make sure skin is protected when heading out into the cool, dry air. Continue to use sunscreen throughout the winter, especially when there is snow on the ground reflecting the sunlight.
FountainView at College Road is a glatt kosher senior living community in Rockland County, NY.