Itchy Skin and Aging Is Very Common 

Itchy skin and aging go together for several different reasons, and while it may not affect all of us, it will affect most of us.

There is very little doubt that just like the rest of our body, as we begin to age; our skin is slowing down as well.

We have spent a lifetime caring for it, but we have also spent a lifetime of abusing it.

Most of us have spent too much time in the sun, as well as smoking and not eating the right diet at times, and all of this impacts this first line of defense for our body.

Itchy Skin and Aging

As we pass the 50 year mark in this journey through life, there are several things occurring in addition to itchy skin and aging.

Here are some of the additional changes

  • Our skin is getting thinner
  • It dries much quicker
  • It is not as smooth as it once was
  • It is wrinkling
  • It  is more fragile
  • Our itch threshold or tolerance is fading

These are just a few of the things happening to our skin and there are several underlying reasons for what is occurring.

Potential Causes

Here are some of those reasons:

  • Dry skin that used to be moist
  • Skin conditions including rashes
  • Some underlying condition or disease
  • Nerve disorders
  • Smoking

Dry skin is by far and away the leading cause of itchy skin and aging, and if you can correct this cause, it can at least be controlled.

There are very few, if any, skin conditions that will not eventually lead to pruritus, which is where the itching can become severe.

These conditions include hives, scabies, lice, eczema, psoriasis, and perhaps the worst of all of them, shingles.

Shingles in seniors can be very tough to deal with, and our age group is its prime target.

Three Friends Spending Time TogetherThree Friends Spending Time Together

However, what is not well known to most of us, is that there are also several different internal diseases or conditions that can trigger it.

Some of these include thyroid issues, iron deficiency anemia, and most all types of cancer. Kidney disease or failure can also trigger it, as well as liver problems.

Nerve disorders such as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, as well as pinched nerves can also activate it.

However, other than dry skin, the biggest connection is allergic reactions or things that simply irritate our skin.

As we all begin to age, some things that we used to tolerate can now become issues.

Some of these include certain types of soaps, some chemicals, as well as cosmetics and food allergies.

Foods that we used to eat that never bothered us, as we begin to age and our stomach acids change, can now begin to affect us.

What Our Skin Does

In fully understanding itchy skin and aging, it helps to understand what this first layer of protection for our body actually does.

Our skin does several things to help protect us and when some of these become compromised, it can trigger us to do the only thing we know to do; itch.

  • It has several nerve receptors
  • It helps to control fluid and balance
  • It helps control our body temperature
  • It helps protect us from the environment—perhaps its biggest role.

If the nerve fibers in our skin were to become totally disabled, we would not be able to feel when something touched us, we would not feel pain, and we would not feel pressure.

As we all begin to age, the outer layer of our skin called the epidermis, begins to thin. However, what is interesting is that even as it thins, the actual number of cells stays the same.

However, our pigment containing cells, referred to as melanocytes, begin to decrease in number.

It is this process that leads to age spots and wrinkles, but it also is connected to itchy skin and aging.

However there is some good news as there are several natural ways to slow done and control this annoyance and potentially damaging process.

Itch Relief for Aging Skin

The first of these remedies include the following

  • Moisturizers and lotions
  • Taking fewer baths and use only warm water
  • Supplement with Vitamins A, C, and E

There are several very good moisturizers that can help with itchy skin and aging, but there are also several types of creams and ointments as well.  

There are several different brands and they will all have one thing in common; they will contain all three of the vitamins listed.

Warm water is not nearly as rough on our skin as we age, and if you are still having issues, try milder and or sensitive skin soap.

When we were caregivers for my wife’s mother, we only used baby soap for this very reason.

For older adults in their 70’s and 80’s, we also used a product called TriCalm skin.

There are actually 6 different varieties that it comes in, and for my wife’s 83 years old mother, it was extremely effective.

The vitamins listed are also very effective, and they will be major ingredients  in any lotion or cream you use for itchy skin and aging.

The Second List of Relief 

The next list of natural remedies includes the following.

  • Coconut and almond oils
  • Aloe Vera
  • Soaking in warm water with baking soda

This list starts with soaking; again in warm water, but this time try adding one cup of baking soda. We have all used Epsom salts added to a warm bath, but try baking soda instead.

Baking soda has been used for several years to take the itch out of a bug or spider bite, but it also help with this condition.

Aloe Vera has been used for hundreds of years to cool irritated skin, and it is one of the strongest itchy skin and aging treatments you can use.

Coconut and almond oils are used universally in the vast majority of massages oils for one simple reason; they naturally hydrate our skin.

We have used it ourselves for the last couple of years and the itching has totally disappeared.

Simply place the oil in your hands and rub the together for about 60 seconds to “warm it up”, and then rub it any area prone to itching.

Not only will you smell good, the problem is solved.

References

http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/itchy-skin/home/ovc-20262856

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