You have probably noticed that your grandparents’ skin is also very different from yours! The most obvious difference are the creases and lines in their skin, known as wrinkles.
As adults get older, the amount of their inner skin fat decreases so this allows for the skin to sag into folds. Also, the skin is held together by connective tissues called collagen as well as by elastin fibers. Each year as skin ages, the body produces a tiny bit less collagen. Eventually the body won’t be able to hold the skin together well, and so it begins to droop. Being in the sun also increases wrinkles as the UV light in the sunlight destroys the connective tissues so they begin to sag.
Another reason for wrinkles is as people age, the glands in the body produce less body oil, which is what keeps your skin moist. This leads to drier skin which may be itchier.
You may also notice your grandparents bruising or getting injured really easily, maybe from just a slight bump or fall. Bruises are formed when blood vessels under the skin are broken because of a hit to the skin. Older adults bruise more easily because their skin loses fat as they age, and so there is less of a cushion to protect the blood vessels from breaking. The blood vessels are also more fragile with old age and so are more easily broken to form bruises.
You can help in several ways!
1. Remind them to wear sunscreen whenever they’re out. This will block most of the UV rays from reaching the skin and lessen the wrinkles caused by the sun.
2. Buy and encourage them to use moisturizer. Moisturizer contains oils which can make up for the oil not being produced by the body while preventing the oil already produced by the body from escaping. It also protects the skin from harmful elements which may cause the dryness and itchiness of the skin.
3. Make sure they drink lots of water
4. Don’t smoke