As we get older, our skin can become dryer and more fragile. While there are lots of causes of dry skin, the way we bathe or shower can have a real impact on whether it turns into a problem or not. So here are some quick bathing tips for dry skin for you and your ageing parent.
1. Keep it short
• Bathe or shower only once a day
• Limit your bath or shower to five to 10 minutes to avoid drying out your skin
• Skip the long, hot soaks in the tub — they’re sucking the moisture from your skin.
2. Turn down the temperature
• Use warm water. Hot water removes your skin’s natural oils
• Outside of the bath or shower, take regular breaks from air conditioning, try using a fan instead, or open the windows if possible.
3. Reach for gentle products while bathing
• Put down the bar of soap — It’s incompatible with your skin pH and dries the skin
• Use mild, fragrance-free cleansers such as sorbelene cream or QV.
4. Pat your skin dry
• Gently use a soft towel
• When dressed, consider clothes made from natural, breathable fabrics like cotton, and avoid wearing wool and other fabrics that can scratch or irritate the skin.
5. Moisturise immediately
• Apply moisturiser while your skin is still damp to lock in moisture
• Slather a thick cream or ointment on your skin right after bathing
• However consider a light lotion for hairy areas of skin or in hot and humid summer weather.
If dry skin persists, get help
If you don’t experience any relief using these tips for dry skin, it might be part of a bigger problem so it would be helpful to see a doctor. The first stop is your GP who can help diagnose and manage many skin conditions. Often with creams or medication. But if your condition is more complex, your GP should refer you to a dermatologist. A dermatologist is a specialist doctor focusing on skin, hair and nail health. They can diagnose, treat and manage more than 3,000 skin conditions.
All dermatologists are registered as specialists with the Medical Bord of Australia and if the dermatologist you’re seeing has FACD next to their name, then they are a Fellow of the Australasian College of Dermatologists. This means they have done further study on top of the 10 years plus of medical training.
Some useful links:
Australian College of Dermatologists community page providing lots of resources for all sorts of skin conditions, not just dry skin –
Carer’s Circle article on Why your ageing parent should get the right dose of vitamin D –
Carer’s Circle article on Embrace your age, live healthier –
Photo credit: Wrinkled dry skin on 123rk stock photo