Tips for Avoiding Damage to Your Skin in Your Care Efforts
January 5, 2017
Caregiver in Redwood City CAAs a family caregiver you know that your primary priority is to give your elderly adult all of the care, support, and assistance that they need to stay healthy, comfortable, and safe, and to live the highest quality of life possible. While caring for your parent and pursuing these goals, however, it is essential that you also focus on caring for yourself. Keeping yourself healthy is critical to not only maintaining the quality of the care that you give your senior, but also to ensuring that you do not suffer serious complications that threaten your well-being moving forward even after your care journey comes to an end. One way that you must care for yourself throughout your caregiver journey is to avoid damage to your skin. Your skin is the largest organ of your body and making sure that it remains healthy and in good condition is essential for protecting your body’s overall health and well-being. Damage to the skin, including irritation, small cuts, scrapes, rashes, and dryness can leave you vulnerable to infection and illness. This is not only dangerous to you, but it can transfer those germs to your elderly loved one, putting them at risk of infection and illness as well. Use these tips to help avoid damage to your skin in your care efforts:
- Be aware of handwashing. Washing your hands regularly is an important part of your role as a family caregiver. Keeping your hands clean manages germs and controls illness and infection. Exposing your hands to water and soap frequently, however, can dry out your skin and leave it vulnerable to cracking, tearing, and opening when you scratch at it. Be sure to provide plenty of moisture to your skin during and after washing by using a naturally moisturizing soap and following up with a high quality moisturizer.
- Limit exposure to chemicals. Exposure to chemicals such as cleaning solutions, dishwashing soap, and others is common during your caregiver journey. This can be particularly harsh to your skin, potentially causing dryness, irritation, and other problems. Limit exposure to these chemicals by not using products with chemical components or by wearing protective gloves when using them to keep them off of your skin. For added benefits, apply a thick layer of emollient cream or body butter to your hands before putting on rubber gloves. The heat from the gloves will aid in moisturizing the skin and protect it from damage.
- Add moisture regularly. Find as many ways as possible throughout your day to add extra moisture to your skin. This can include adding moisturizing oils to your bath water, avoiding products that contain potentially irritating ingredients such as alcohol, and deeply moisturizing the skin by putting emollient cream on your skin and then covering it with cotton clothing, including gloves, before you go to bed. This encourages the moisture to soak into the skin and resists evaporation so that it will stay healthier and resist drying or irritation due to environmental exposure.