Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition affecting the skin. If you provide home care for an aging parent and notice itchy, scaly or flaky skin, your loved one may have psoriasis. While there is no cure for this condition, there are ways you can treat it at home and lessen the discomfort.
As people age, their skin naturally has less moisture than when they were young. Encourage your senior loved one to use heavy moisturizers during the winter months like petroleum jelly or olive oil. Avoid heavy moisturizers during the warmer months, however, as sweat mixed with moisturizers can make skin irritation worse.
Try Natural Supplements
Certain supplements can improve psoriasis symptoms in some people. For instance, milk thistle, fish oil, and vitamin D. However, it’s very important you speak with your loved one’s physician beforehand, as some natural supplements may interfere with prescription medications he or she may already take.
Use a Humidifier
Dry air in the home can make psoriasis symptoms worse. Use a humidifier in your loved one’s home at all times to keep the air moist. This is especially true during the winter when air is naturally drier.
Avoid Dyes and Perfumes
Age can make skin very sensitive, and psoriasis compounds that problem significantly. Avoid using strongly scented soaps or detergents. Buy only products labeled for “sensitive” skin.
Although it doesn’t work for everyone with psoriasis, some people have gotten symptom relief from changing what they eat. Consider cutting out red meat, fatty foods, sugar and caffeine. Soy, chocolate, and cranberries may help symptoms.
Get Some Sun
Ultraviolet light from sunshine can help clear up patches of psoriasis. Cover any areas not affected with a strong sunblock and sit out for twenty minutes, three to four times a week. Make sure to talk to your loved one’s doctor beforehand, as some prescription medications cause sensitivity to sunlight.
To learn more about promoting senior health and wellness, reach out to Home Care Assistance of Omaha. We’re a leading provider of Parkinson’s, dementia, and Alzheimer’s care in Omaha, as well as flexible hourly and live-in care, ensuring seniors have the support they need to maintain a high-quality life. Call our office today at (402) 249-0204 for more information.