Psoriasis affects around 7.5 million people in the United States. Its a chronic condition that causes skin cells to advance through their life cycle more quickly than they should. It causes the skin cells to collect in patches on the surface. The patches are usually red and scaly. In addition to being unsightly, they can also be very uncomfortable, causing terrible itching. Theres no cure for the disease, but the itching can be managed at home. Below are 3 ways to deal with the itching and help your aging relative to feel better.
#1: Use Thick Moisturizers
Keeping the older adults skin moisturized can help reduce itching and redness. Thick moisturizers, like petroleum jelly, tend to work better than thinner moisturizers. They protect the skin and trap in moisture and oils that help the skin to heal. Applying them right after a shower or bath can make them even more effective. To give moisturizers a cooling effect, try keeping them in the refrigerator.
Putting moisturizer on can be difficult for older adults who have arthritis or other conditions that make it hard for them to reach certain parts of their body. Home care providers can assist them to apply moisturizer to areas that are difficult to reach, like their back or legs.
#2: Take Cool Showers or Baths
Hot water can dry skin even more, making itching worse. Instead, suggest that your aging relative take cool showers or baths. The cool water can be soothing. In between baths and showers, cold packs can also help.
Bathing and showering can be challenging for seniors who have mobility problems. A home care provider can assist them to get in and out of the shower or bathtub safely. If they have trouble with dressing, a home care provider can help them to pull clothes on and fasten buttons and zippers.
#3: Avoid Scratching
Scratching psoriasis scales wont make them worse, but it could make the itching feel worse. In addition, scratching could cause the skin to tear, which could lead to infection. It could also make the lesions heal more slowly. If the need to scratch gets too strong, gently tapping or rubbing the lesion is a better option.
Home care providers can remind older adults not to scratch. They can also tap or rub the skin for the senior, helping to soothe the itching. Home care providers can also offer distracting activities to take the seniors mind off the itch.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care in Minneapolis, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.