How to care for your skin as you get older


How to care for your skin as you get older

As we age, our skin naturally loses some of its youthful radiance and can begin to wrinkle and become dry. Fortunately, there are ways to slow some effects of getting older on our skin.
Wrinkling of our skin is caused by a lack of collagen and elastin, proteins produced by the body that maintain the firmness and elasticity of the skin, says Dr. Ernie Gelb, an experienced family medicine and geriatrics physician who practices at Tidelands Health Family Medicine at Holmestown Road in Myrtle Beach. As we grow older, our body produces less of these proteins.
While we cannot stop this process from happening, there are ways to help reduce the number of wrinkles people experience.

Sun exposure

Perhaps the most important step anyone can take is to protect their skin from the sun, which has been repeatedly shown to cause wrinkling.
“Avoid excessive sun exposure, and if you do go out, wear a sunscreen of SPF 50 or better,” Dr. Gelb advises. “Avoid sunburns and wear sunscreen even if it’s overcast.”

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He says it’s also important to get adequate sleep, stay hydrated and eat a balanced diet complete with fruits and vegetables. Foods rich in antioxidants can improve skin health, as can fish and other foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids.

Dry skin

Like wrinkling, dry skin is also a symptom of aging and can become a significant day-to-day problem for some people, especially when it causes skin on the hands and feet to crack. Not only is the condition painful, but it can also increase the risk of infection by creating an opening for germs to enter the body.
Regular use of over-the-counter moisturizers often helps with dry skin, but if the condition is severe, a prescribed topical medication may be appropriate, Dr. Gelb says.
If you are concerned about your skin health, bring it up with your physician, Dr. Gelb says. There are a variety of treatment options available.
“If you aren’t finding relief, don’t hesitate to seek help,” Dr. Gelb says. “That’s what we’re here for.”

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