The dry indoor air and the freezing outdoor temperatures can wreak havoc on the lips. This sensitive area of thin skin can cause a lot of discomfort and pain when they become chapped. Elderly adults are more likely to develop chapped lips and there are a lot of factors that combine to cause it. However, with a good support system of a family caregivers and elderly care providers, aging adults can avoid the soreness and pain associated with chapped lips.
What Causes Chapped Lips?
Chapped lips are very common in seniors. With age, the skin layers thin out and become more susceptible to drying out from heat or cold. Through exposure to the sun, wind and fluctuating temperatures, the protective barrier of the lips thins out and becomes dry, sore and flaky. When this happens, the skin struggles to retain moisture naturally. Dehydration can also play a big part in causing chapped lips.
Chapped lips can become so bad that they crack, opening a sore that makes it quite painful to speak, eat and drink. Aging adults and family caregivers that neglect to properly care for the lips are destined to have problems with chapped lips at some point.
Treating Chapped Lips in Elderly Adults
It’s especially important for family caregivers and elderly care providers, who help elderly adults that cannot take care of themselves, to treat the lips properly and prevent chapped lips. If the lips are already chapped, then aging adults must depend on their caregivers to help with treating them so they can return to a more supple and healthy state once again.
Treating chapped lips involves keeping the skin hydrated. Using an intensive lip moisturizer, family caregivers and elderly care providers can remind the aging adult to apply lip balm frequently. The lip moisturizer rehydrates the lips and locks in moisturizer. The layer of balm prevents further dehydration. seniors need to apply the lip balm as long as the lips are dry and flaky. Over time, their lips will start to look and feel better.
Preventing Chapped Lips in Aging Adults
Family caregivers and elderly care providers can help aging adults prevent chapped lips by taking some extra precautions. Of course, they should always wear a protective lip balm whenever they go out to block the elements from drying out the skin. Many lip balms contain a sunblock to help prevent harmful UV rays from getting to the lips.
Seniors should also avoid licking their lips to moisten them, as this can accelerate dryness. They should also stay hydrated, as dehydration makes it difficult for the skin, especially the lips, to retain moisture. When aging adults pay attention to their lips and have the support of family caregivers and elderly care providers, the days of flaky, cracked lip will be behind them.