Though seniors in Arizona enjoy spending time in the abundant sunlight, excessive exposure can be dangerous to their health. However, there are several ways to protect your elderly loved one from the hazards of sun damage. The Prescott part-time care experts at Home Care Assistance have put together a list of 4 ways the sun can damage a senior’s skin, along with tips on how to prevent these conditions.
After years of sun damage, skin begins to produce less collagen and elastin. This can result in cosmetic issues like deep lines along the forehead and facial wrinkles. The most effective way to reduce your loved one’s risk of elastosis is to limit his or her sun exposure. For seniors who are planning on being out in the sun, wide-brimmed hats and sunscreen should be worn at all times.
Skin discoloration can result from either sun damage or damaged blood vessels. Also referred to as mottled pigmentation, many seniors who develop this common problem become unhappy and self-conscious about their appearance. While mottled pigmentation is typically not dangerous, seniors who notice any changes to their skin color should speak with a doctor about skin cancer screening. During this exam, the oncologist or nurse will take a small sample of your loved one’s skin and send it to a lab for testing.
3. Benign Tumors
Skin growths should never be taken lightly. Many of these growths are nothing more than unusual freckles or moles, but they might contain precancerous cells. Even if the tumor ends up being benign, it could still damage the nearby soft tissue. These growths often contain dead cells that become infected and inflamed. Staying out of the sun during the hottest parts of the day is the easiest way to reduce your loved one’s risk of benign tumors.
According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, over 76,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in the United States in 2016. Unfortunately, many of these people will be seniors who have spent a lifetime out under the sun. This is why most specialists suggest older adults examine their skin for any irregularities such as sunspots and lesions at least once every month.
Whether it’s in the sunny summer months or the rest of the year, senior health and wellness is a priority at Prescott Home Care Assistance. If your loved one is looking for strategies to stay healthy, our dedicated hourly and live-in caregivers can help. For more information on at-home care Prescott families can count on, call one of our qualified Care Managers at (928) 771-0105 to schedule a no-obligation consultation.