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Posted 09/28/2019 in Category 1

Skin Care for In-home Care and Skilled Nursing Facilities

Skin Care for In-home Care and Skilled Nursing Facilities

Skin Care for In-home Care and Skilled Nursing Facilities

One aspect of caring for someone at home or in a skilled nursing facility that many people don't consider is skin care. When an individual ages, certain things happened to their skin that leave them susceptible to many different conditions ranging from mild to severe. If left untreated, even the mildest kind of skin condition can progress into something much more dangerous. Bed sores themselves normally start out as a red irritated place on the skin.

Most Common Skin Conditions in the Elderly

Let's take a look at a few of the common skin maladies that happened to people as they get older. The following is a list of the most common skin issues that elderly people or other individuals that are in care facilities should watch out for. The caregiver should be checking for signs of these conditions periodically so that they can be corrected with the least amount of interventions.


As I am sure you realize, dry skin can progress into more serious problems. In the average person, dry skin can be caused by environmental issues like using the wrong type of soap or using too hot of water when you bathe. In the elderly dry skin typically advances and becomes flaky, scaly, cracked, and rough just from the aging process. 


Redness in the skin can be caused by such things as sunburn, exertion, or even an allergic reaction. While redness is not always a cause of concern, it can be uncomfortable and irritating. If the redness is caused by irritation of the skin, it may progress into something more serious.


Bruising tends to become more prevalent as an individual ages because the aging process. Bruising can also affect blood vessels making them more fragile than normal. It can also be caused by certain conditions and medications, so keeping an eye on their skin is an important part of care. If any unusual bruises just pop up, be sure to inform the care team and keep a watch on the area for further damage. 


Dermatitis is a condition in which the skin can become sore, red, and swollen, occasionally presenting with small blisters that can stem from irritation happening to the skin. This condition can be caused from environmental agents or allergic reactions. If left untreated, the elderly dermatitis can advance into a much more serious problem. The caregiver should be vigilant in checking for signs of dermatitis and make sure to keep on top of it. 

Senile Purpura

Senile purpura is a bruising condition that happens in elderly individuals. Also known as actinic purpura, the condition present presents itself when the skin and blood vessels become aged and fragile making it much easier for the skin to bruise. Certain medications and things like vascular disease, rheumatoid, diabetes, lupus, and arthritis can lead to the development of these types of lesions.

Skin Growths

While a skin growth can be present at birth, they do not usually develop until later in life. They can manifest like cells in a plant or be raised areas that can be anywhere from skin tone to black in color. If you are able to control the growth, the cells will not spread into other areas of the body. Typically skin growth are considered tumors, but they are typically non-cancerous.

Skin Infections

While skin infections can present with pustules, alterations, blisters, and erythema, they can also happen in body folds causing them to be harder to treat. When it comes to the elderly, infected ulcers and cellulitis are two of the more common types of skin infections that can happen. When taking care of a skin infection, they should always make sure to follow the care plan to the T and be sure that the areas are kept clean and medicated.

What can I do to Prevent Skin Infections in the Elderly?

Be vigilant and check for any unusual pain, lesions, or itching, making sure to seek the appropriate medical help depending upon the problem. Good hygiene will ward off most skin infections, so make sure to use certain procedures when dealing with an individual including washing their hands frequently, especially if they are in a nursing or care facility. They should always keep the person’s skin clean and moisturized to prevent any further damage, age itself will do enough damage to their skin. 

With bed bound patients, if they notice pressure points building on the skin, it is important to massage that area to get the blood flowing again. This will allow the body's natural processes to help prevent problems with the skin. However, bed sores can be one of the major skin ailments that happened in the elderly, especially if they're bed bound. Bed sores typically start with a slightly red irritated area and progress from there. Caregivers need to make sure that if they see what could be the beginning of bedsores that they take appropriate action. 

Can Skin Issues be Serious?

As long as the condition is treated appropriately, skin issues will typically resolve themselves. However, if left untreated, even dry skin can progress into something that is serious. Infections, sores, blisters, and lesions can happen which will leave an open wound on the skin. At this point, medical care is appropriate so that they can make sure that the problem does not get worse. 

In the elderly, the natural aging process tends to wreak havoc on the skin and it’s underlying structures. This makes it easier for many kinds of infections and other problems to take hold much quicker. When taking care of an individual, it is up to the caregiver to make sure that any problem that pops up is seen to immediately and appropriately. 

In Conclusion

While most people don't think that skin conditions are serious enough to merit a visit to the appropriate doctor, when taking care of someone, the caregiver should always make sure that a skin check is a part of their everyday routine. Making sure that their skin is in good condition can mean the difference between a good quality of life and the bad one. It is a lot easier to work to prevent skin issues, then to cure one, so be vigilant and make skin checks on a routine basis. 


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