Eczema is a common skin condition many seniors must contend with every day. Whether your aging loved one has had eczema since childhood or just developed the condition, you can use these tips to treat his or her skin and prevent complications.
1. Identify the Type of Eczema
There are different types of eczema, and knowing the type your loved one has can affect the treatment. For instance, seniors with venous insufficiency may find eczema related to this disorder gets better when they manage their circulation condition. While physicians aren’t always able to find a known cause for eczema, an accurate diagnosis can help you avoid trying to treat the wrong skin condition.
2. Avoid Known Triggers
Eczema flare-ups are often preventable by simply avoiding known triggers. For example, your loved one may need to wear gloves or have someone else tackle his or her chores if he or she gets eczema on the hands from exposure to certain chemicals. Your loved one’s eczema may also flare up if his or her skin gets too dry or cold. Certain fragrances can also be triggers, and your loved one may need to change his or her soap, laundry detergent, or perfume. Watch for patterns that seem to bring on flare-ups so you can take steps to reduce your loved one’s exposure to triggers.
Seniors with eczema may require help managing their daily routines and avoiding triggers. Colorado Springs respite care professionals can assist seniors with a wide array of daily tasks, offering family caregivers the chance to focus on other personal responsibilities or take a break to prevent burnout. Whether it’s for a few hours a day or a few days a week, respite care is the perfect solution for family caregivers who are feeling overwhelmed.
3. Explore Treatments for Eczema
Once your loved one is diagnosed with eczema, the physician may offer treatment options, such as medication. Typically, corticosteroids are used in a cream form that is applied to the skin. However, your loved one may also be prescribed other medications, such as antihistamines to control the itching. Some seniors have also found success using light therapy that reduces the size and duration of flare-ups. If your loved one is recommended to use a treatment, make sure he or she has support to follow through with the therapy. For example, your loved one may need assistance applying lotion or cream to hard-to-reach areas on the body, such as the back.
Family caregivers may not always be available to remind their loved ones to use medicines. In-home care providers can benefit aging adults in a variety of ways. From cooking nutritious meals to offering timely medication reminders, the dedicated caregivers at Home Care Assistance are available to help your elderly loved one 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
4. Reduce the Symptoms
Eczema generates symptoms that are uncomfortable for seniors. Itching is the biggest complaint, but seniors may also experience pain and even bleeding if their skin becomes cracked. Reduce the symptoms by using cool compresses on inflamed areas, or try giving your loved one an oatmeal bath. While it may take some experimentation, you can identify strategies that help your loved one feel better.
5. Monitor the Skin for Changes
Although proper skin care goes a long way toward the prevention of complications from eczema, damaged skin is still more susceptible to infections. Watch your loved one’s eczema sites for signs he or she is experiencing complications. For instance, eczema patches that ooze pus or develop red streaks could have a bacterial infection that requires medical attention. If you cannot check your loved one’s skin regularly, ask another caregiver to notify you if he or she notices any areas of concern.
Families can hire professional home caregivers to help their loved ones address eczema and other health conditions. Although it may be challenging to find reliable, highly rated home care service, Colorado Springs, CO, families can turn to Home Care Assistance. Our respite and live-in caregivers are expertly trained to assist seniors with a wide array of important tasks, including cooking, bathing, light housekeeping, and exercise. To talk to one of our friendly Care Managers and create a customized senior care plan, call us at (719) 822-1229.