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Skin will change in appearance as people get older. Aging skin is normally more noticeable on the face and hands. Spending long periods outdoors and having fair skin can result in premature aging of the skin.

Smoking increases your risk of damaging the skin quality, narrowed blood vessels reduce the amount of oxygen and nutrients reaching the skin cells.

skin agingNormal skin changes with aging

  • Thinning of the skin
  • Lines and wrinkles
  • Less resilience to shearing forces and more prone to injury
  • Thinning hair
  • Nails grow slower
  • Reduced blood supply
  • Reduced fat stores – particularly the hands and feet
  • Skin is dry
  • Uneven skin pigmentation – freckles, moles, skin cancer

Preventing or Reducing your skin from aging

  • Sun protection at all ages (sunscreen, hat, long sleeves)
  • Reduce outdoor activities during the middle of the day
  • Do not smoke
  • Avoid exposure to pollutants where possible
  • Exercise regularly
  • Eat a balanced diet including fruit and vegetables

The skin on your feet as they get older

The skin on your feet is like the skin elsewhere on your body, except that you walk on it (so there’s extra pressure) and we wear shoes for much of the time. Follow these tips for looking after the skin on your feet:

  • Wear shoes that fit properly and are fit for purpose (for example, don’t go jogging in dress shoes!).
  • Use socks made of natural materials, such as cotton or wool.
  • Use a moisturiser regularly on your skin, including your feet.
  • See your podiatrist if:
    • your nails are thick, long or you can’t look after them, see your podiatrist for regular treatment.
    • you have thick skin, callouses or corns
    • Your skin looks or feels abnormal. There are often simple treatments available which can help (for example, treatment for fungal skin infections).

There are many conditions which can affect your skin. Consult a health professional if you have any queries or notice anything unusual with your skin.