Elderly Skin Care and Goat Milk Products
Elderly skin care is a very important health concern for aging adults. While our skin is generally ignored throughout life unless we have an itch, a cut, a rash, or a burn, etc., the skin is actually an important organ that plays a much bigger part than just holding everything together in one package!
Healthy skin keeps infectious agents from entering the body, synthesizes essential vitamin D from sunlight, and provides our sensation of touch through the various nerves running throughout.
It also helps regulate our body temperature, allowing pores to open for sweat to exit for cooling our bodies, and restricting surface blood circulation in cold weather in order to prevent loss of heat from internal organs.
The acid mantle of skin keeps the pH in the range of 4.5 to 6.0--a scope that's hostile to many bacterial and viral agents. Skin that has lost this protective mantle is dry, itchy and easily damaged, thus allowing harmful agents into the vulnerable body tissues.
The skin also acts as a conduit for certain substances to enter the body. This function is best recognized as the method of application of medicines through adhesive patches that are applied to the skin. The skin can also absorb nutrients, such as vitamins, through the skin.
The Effects of Aging on Skin
The aging process creates several changes in the properties of skin, and without proper care, can lead to serious problems for the elderly. These changes result from both internal
Internal factors include inevitable changes related to the decline of bodily functions. Circulation slows, providing less blood, and thus fewer nutrients, to the skin, resulting in longer healing times for damage, such as cuts and bruises.
Unfortunately, aging skin also loses much of its elasticity due to collagen breakdown, which means that it becomes thinner, and more prone to being torn.
As the skin becomes thinner, it is also less able to retain moisture. This, combined with a normal reduction in the natural oil secretion, means that mature skin is often dry.
External aging factors include things such as smoking, air pollution and radiation from sunlight.
Sunlight is implicated in many age-related skin issues, like age or liver spots, wrinkles and roughness. More seriously, extended sun exposure can result in various skin cancers, some of which are fatal.
Elderly Skin Care Recommendations
Caring for aging skin involves methods and products that will hydrate, rather than further dry the skin.
For cleansing elderly skin, recommendations include the following:
- Bathe less frequently.Three to four baths or showers, with sponge baths as needed in between, and daily facial cleansing, are usually sufficient.
- Use warm, rather than hot, water.Hot water will strip all the natural oils away, and because many elderly have a reduced sensation of temperature, they could actually be burned by hot water and not recognize it.
- Avoid bubble bath products.Bubble baths typically contain harsh detergents that also strip away the skin's oils.
- Use gentle, moisturizing soaps.Milk and cream-based soaps rank highly for their gentleness and moisturizing properties.
- Rinse skin well, so as not to leave any soap residue that would further dry skin.
In addition to regulating the bathing process so as not to excessively dry or otherwise irritate elderly skin, it's also important to add
moisture to compensate for the body's reduced ability to produce it's own oils.
After bathing is an excellent time to apply a hydrating lotion over the entire body. This will help seal in moisture and reduce itching. Preventing itching from dry skin is very important, as scratching, especially with the fingernails, could easily tear the thin skin and lead to infection.
Hands and feet are typically rougher than other parts of the body. These could benefit from a thicker cream or body butter that will provide a better moisture barrier.
Gloves and socks worn over the lubricated hands and feet, especially at night, will aid in softening the skin.
A humidifier is often helpful for elderly skin care during the winter, or year-round if the elderly person lives in a dry climate. This not only helps the skin stay hydrated, but also prevents drying of the mucous membranes in the mouth, eyes and sinuses.
Goat Milk Skin Care for the Elderly
The hallmark of goat milk is its gentleness and nutritive properties in digestion, but those same properties carry over to the skin care products, too.
Goat milk skin care products are especially suited for caring for the special challenges that aging skin presents.
For cleansing, goat milk soap has the benefits of a lower pH, making it more friendly to the skin's protective acid mantle, and a high fat content that supplies moisture, while gently removing dirt and dead skin cells.
Goat milk soaps also come in a vast array of combinations that include nourishing herbs and other natural ingredients tailored for specific skincare needs. Read the labels or inquire as to the suitability of particular ingredients for elderly skin care, or for other special skin care needs.
Lotions, creams and body butters made from goat milk are also especially nourishing for elderly skin. The special fat and protein molecules from goat milk, along with an array of vitamins and minerals, are easily absorbed through the skin, providing hydration, a protective moisture barrier, and nourishment for the skin all at the same time.
Isolated rough patches of skin might also benefit from the application of a homemade facial solution containing goat milk yogurt, sour cream or buttermilk. These fermented products contain lactic acid, one of the alpha hydroxy acids, known for helping to remove dead surface layer skin cells to leave skin smoother.
These goat milk versions of alpha hydroxy acid contain no additional chemicals or preservatives and are not as harsh as commercial products.
Finally, it's also important to nourish skin from the inside out. Proper nutrition is an imperative component in elderly skin care.
You can read how goat milk is especially suited for nutritional needs of the elderly in Elderly Nutrition and Goat Milk.
As the saying goes, "The proof is in the pudding." (That pudding was made with goat milk, right? Ha Ha)
If you or an elderly loved one suffers from dry, itchy skin, try a cleansing and hydration program based on goat milk. Products are widely available, and come in a range of scents (or unscented) and added ingredients.
I believe from my own experience that you'll see a difference with the first use. Experiment with different brands and varieties to find one that works best for your special needs.
Of course, homemade products are almost guaranteed to be less irritating and more moisturizing than commercial products, not to mention less expensive!
If you're interested in learning more about natural skin care recipes, check out my review of Naturally Skinsational in the article, Homemade Facials Super-Guide: The Naturally Skinsational Ebook.
It is a fantastic resource for creating over 150 DIY skin care recipes, many of which are designed specifically for the needs of aging skin.
Articles are updated frequently, so check back here for any new information related to elderly skin care and goat milk products!
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