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Companion Home Care Advice: Skin Cancer Tips for Seniors

Sep 6, 2018 by Leslie Knopp

Unfortunately, one in five people will develop skin cancer in their lifetime. People of all ages, including older adults should take good care of their skin to reduce their risk of this serious disease.

Skin cancer begins in the top layer of the skin called the epidermis. It occurs when cells mutate. The cells the cancer starts in will dictate the type of cancer an individual will develop. The three types of skin cells in the epidermis include:

•          Squamous cells: These cells can be found right below the surface of the skin.
•          Basal cells: Basal cells reside right beneath the squamous cells.
•          Melanocytes: Melanocytes are situated in the deepest area of the epidermis.

Since seniors have skin that is thinner and more fragile, often take medication that raises sun sensitivity, and may have suffered from sunburns when they were younger, they may be at an increased risk of skin cancer. Providers who specialize in companion home care recommend the following skin care cancer prevention tips for seniors.

Wear Sunscreen
Even on cloudy days, aides who offer companion home care encourage seniors to wear sunscreen and re-apply it every few hours. The sunscreen they select should be an SPF of at least 15 and be broad spectrum. This type of sunscreen can filter out 93 percent of the UV rays.

Avoid the Sun During Its Strongest Hours
The sun is usually at its strongest between the hours of 10:00 am and 4:00 pm. Therefore, older adults should try to stay inside or sit in shade during this time period.

Wear Loose Fitting Clothing
Lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can cover a senior’s arms and legs is important. Professionals who offer companion home care in Traverse City, MI recommend cotton or other natural fibers as they can protect the skin while allowing it to breathe.

Wearing sunscreen, staying out of the sun between 10:00 am and 4:00 pm, and wearing loose fitting clothing can help seniors keep their skin in good shape and reduce the risk of skin cancer.


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