Managing Xerosis (Dry Skin) in Older Age

Xerosis – or abnormally dry skin – is a common issue that can affect anyone but affects almost everyone over 60. While not serious, xerosis may be itchy and uncomfortable and can lead to a loss of flexibility in the skin resulting in splits and cracks.

Home Care, Caregiver, Xerosis, Dry Skin

If not appropriately managed, xerosis can lead to skin infections as pathogens enter broken skin or contact allergies as the barrier that the skin provides is compromised. Here are some ways to battle dry skin:

  • Apply moisturiser after bathing or when the skin is itchy. This will improve the skin barrier and decrease itching. 
  • Identify and avoid triggers such as soaps, harsh fabrics and overly hot water.
  • Reduce the length of bathing.
  • Dry skin gently after bathing with a patting, rather than a rubbing motion. 
  • Ensure nails are kept clipped and clean.
  • Use a humidifier in the winter to help combat seasonal dryness. 
  • Manage incontinence as exposure to bodily waste may cause the skin to break down. 

Use wound dressings that are non-adhesive to avoid damage to the skin.

If mobility is an issue, managing xerosis can prove difficult. If you or a loved one is struggling with the discomfort of dry skin this winter, a carer may be able to assist.
Check a wide variety of In Home Care Services and find the care you need to keep you healthy.


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