Older adults with psoriasis typically experience symptoms intermittently. Periods when the condition is active are called “flare ups.” While the best way to manage psoriasis flare ups is by following the treatment plan set by the doctor, there are also things seniors can do at home to prevent flare ups from occurring.
Below are 4 suggestions for keeping psoriasis flare ups at bay.
#1: Use Moisturizers
Dry skin makes the symptoms of psoriasis worse. To keep skin moist, older adults should apply lotion or cream on a regular basis. Moisturizers that are thick and oily are best. They work better because they trap moisture in the skin. Moisturizers can also be useful for removing scales. To do it, apply cream to the scales, then wrap the area with plastic wrap. Remove the wrap after a few hours.
Home care can assist seniors to put on moisturizers by applying them to parts of the body that may be hard for the older adult to reach. In addition, a home care provider can assist with applying plastic wrap to remove scales.
#2: Protect Skin from the Cold
Psoriasis flare ups are more common in cold, dry weather. To protect your aging relative’s skin, make sure they keep skin covered in the cold. Wearing warm layers of clothing that cover arms and legs can help. In addition, the senior should wear a hat, scarf, and gloves or mittens when they go outside.
Home care providers can ensure the older adult wears the appropriate clothing when they go out in the cold. A home care provider can remind them to put on hats, gloves, and a scarf before going out, too.
#3: Avoid Skin Injuries
Skin injuries, like cuts, scrapes, or sunburn, can make psoriasis flare up. This is called the Koebner phenomenon.
Home care can help to prevent skin injuries by:
- Reminding the older adult to apply sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat when going outside.
- Ensuring the senior protects skin by putting on long sleeves and long pants before doing physical activities, like gardening.
- Applying insect repellant to the older adult’s skin to prevent bites that may cause a flare up.
#4: Spend a Little Time in the Sun
While sunburn can cause a flare up, moderate amounts of sun are actually good for the skin. Sunshine helps to slow down the growth cycle of skin cells. Seniors should try to spend about 20 minutes at a time in the sun whenever possible.
Home care can assist older adults to go outside and sit in the sun for a short amount of time each day. A home care provider can also sit with them to keep them company while they soak up the sun’s rays.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Home Care Services in Michigan, please talk to the caring staff at Hope Senior Home Care today 313.881.3132.