How Can Too Much Sun Exposure Damage a Senior's Skin?

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Negative Effects of Sun Exposure on Elderly Skin

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Though getting a small amount of daily sunlight can be healthy for seniors because it provides vitamin D, it’s important for your elderly loved one to limit his or her exposure because too much time in the sun can lead to some negative consequences. Scottsdale hourly care experts want to share some information about the damage prolonged sun exposure can do to your loved one’s skin and what can be done to prevent it.

Skin Cancer

Though this type of cancer is common, it is also preventable for many seniors. The easiest way to reduce your loved one’s risk of skin cancer is to protect his or her skin with loose clothing, wide-brimmed hats, and sunblock. Anyone over the age of 65 should check their skin for any abnormalities at least once a month and get screened for cancer at least once every 2 to 3 years.

Sunburn

Skin produces a unique protective substance known as melanin. In sufficient quantities, melanin can prevent permanent sun damage. However, if your loved one is exposed to the sun for long periods, his or her skin may no longer produce enough melanin. This results in sunburns that are not only painful, but also increase your loved one’s risk of developing skin cancer. Most burns happen between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. when the sun’s rays are the strongest.

Eye Damage

Dozens of studies have proven spending hours in the sun without protection can damage cells within the eyes. The American Academy of Ophthalmology has recently claimed sun damage is one of the leading causes of cataracts. Seniors who spend a lot of time outside should invest in a good pair of sunglasses that protect against UV rays. However, even small amounts of sunlight can increase your loved one’s risk of eye disorders.

Cosmetic Issues

Most age-related skin conditions can be attributed to the sun. This is because UV rays physically alter skin cells and inhibit the ability to create collagen and elastin. Ongoing exposure to the sun can increase your loved one’s risk of developing skin discoloration, benign tumors, and wrinkles. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the face is the most vulnerable to sun damage.

Since summer is coming soon, make sure your loved one has the information and assistance he or she needs to stay safe and healthy. To learn more about protecting your loved one from sun damage or other senior health concerns, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a leading provider of in-home care Scottsdale seniors and their families can rely on. Call one of our friendly Care Managers at 480.448.6215 today to schedule a complimentary in-home consultation.