Although the skin is the body’s largest organ and its first and strongest line of defense, it is not often one of the first things that someone thinks about until there is a problem.
Learn more about how to prevent and treat skin infections in the elderly, to keep skin working as the first line of defense against illness.
Skin makes up 16% of our total body weight and protects us from:
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But as we age, our bodies have a harder time repairing broken skin and we can become more vulnerable to infection.
The elderly are less able to feel cold, heat, pressure and touch and may have difficulty responding. They also have a slower healing time – wound healing can take up to four times longer in seniors.
Skin disorders are common in the elderly, up to 90% of people over the age of 65 will have a skin disorder.
The best way to prevent skin infections is to keep skin healthy and intact. Preventing cuts, falls, pressure scrapes and wounds allows your skin to do its job.
Remember to pay attention to any unusual itching, lesions or pain, and seek treatment if your senior loved one is in discomfort. Most skin infections are treatable. Skin infections can be warded off by practicing good hygiene such as proper hand washing, particularly if your loved one lives in a senior living community.
What other tips do you have for preventing skin infections in the elderly? We’d like to hear your suggestions in the comments below.