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5 Tips to Treat Eczema in Older Adults

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Eczema is a type of skin inflammation that results in itchy, reddened skin with tiny bumps or thickened scales. The condition is common in those with weakened immune systems, and it frequently occurs among seniors. Living with eczema is uncomfortable, so it’s important to find ways to manage the symptoms and keep the eczema from flaring up again. If your senior loved one has eczema, try these solutions to treat the condition.

1. Avoid Triggers

There are many different triggers that can cause eczema to flare up. Keep an eye on your loved one to find out what may be causing the eczema. For some seniors, it may be contact with pollen, certain soaps, eggs, soy, wheat, or milk. Identify any sensitivities your loved one might have and make sure you help him or her avoid them. Stress can be a trigger as well, so try to keep your loved one as calm and relaxed as possible.

Older adults may require help avoiding known triggers and preparing appropriate meals. Living independently is important for seniors who want to maintain a high quality of life. For some, this simply means receiving help with tasks that have become more challenging to manage over time. Even when families have the best intentions, they may not have the time to provide the care their elderly loved ones need and deserve. If your loved one needs help for a few hours a day or a few days a week, reach out to Home Care Assistance, a trusted provider of respite care Oshkosh seniors can depend on.

2. Apply a Soothing Cream

When your loved one is having eczema attack, one of the most effective treatments is a medicated cream. You can talk to the doctor about prescribing a calcineurin inhibitor cream, which soothes the skin and halts an eczema attack before it worsens. These creams can only be used for a short time, so they’re often used to stop an eczema attack before finding other ways to treat it.

3. Take Immunosuppressive Medication

Eczema is caused by an overactive immune system, and one method of treating it is to take a medication that moderates the immune system response. Common options include azathioprine, cyclosporine, and methotrexate. Some of these medications are also used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, so they may have multiple benefits for seniors. However, seniors have a higher risk of getting sick while taking immunosuppressants, so they may not be advisable for everyone.

Not every senior has the same care needs, which means they don’t all need the same type of senior care. Oshkosh families can rely on Home Care Assistance to provide individualized care plans to meet your elderly loved one’s unique care needs. Our holistic Balanced Care Method was designed to help seniors focus on healthy lifestyle habits such as eating nutritious foods, exercising regularly, and maintaining strong social ties, and our Cognitive Therapeutics Method offers mentally stimulating activities that can stave off cognitive decline and delay the onset of dementia.

4. Try Light Therapy

Light therapy can be effective for seniors who don’t respond to medicated creams. This type of therapy is simply exposing the skin to UV rays. You can use a light box to create artificial UV rays, or you can encourage your loved one to sit in the sun for a few minutes each day. The key to using light therapy is consistency. It can take a month or two of consistent light exposure to start reducing the severity of the eczema outbreak.

5. Be Gentle to the Skin

Eczema often flares up after some sort of irritation to the skin, so you need to be very careful with your loved one’s skin even when he or she isn’t having an eczema attack. Try to avoid using excessively hot water, scented soaps, or detergents with fragrances. Always keep skin clean, dry it well after showers, and gently pat a fragrance-free moisturizer into the skin. Excessively dry skin tends to cause eczema flare-ups, so some seniors might benefit from a humidifier.

Helping your loved one manage eczema or another health condition may be a difficult task. If you are the primary caregiver for a senior family member and are looking for professional senior home care, Oshkosh Home Care Assistance should be your top choice. Our dedicated and compassionate caregivers are committed to helping older adults manage their health and enjoy a higher quality of life in the golden years. To schedule an in-home consultation, call us at (920) 710-2273 today.