As a family caregiver, you do your best to keep your elderly loved one happy and healthy. However, if you are noticing an increase in their eczema lately, you may be witnessing a winter flare-up of the condition. It’s very common for those with eczema to experience an increase in symptoms during cold weather. The winter environment gives the eczema the ideal conditions to thrive, much to the discomfort and even pain of your aging relative.
Treating and even preventing a winter flare-up of eczema is an important part of keeping your loved one healthy and happy. Here are some tips that you, elderly care providers, other family members and even your aging relative themselves can follow for healthier skin.
Treat the Existing Eczema Effectively
If your elderly loved one hasn’t been seen by a doctor for the eczema yet, do that immediately. The doctor will prescribe a topical ointment or cream to alleviate the itching and calm the nerves. In some cases, doctors may also give the aging adult some oral medication to start work inside of the body for the external symptoms. A good moisturizer can also help with eczema symptoms when applied regularly.
Control the Winter Atmosphere
There are plenty of ways that family caregivers and elderly care providers can do to the environment in the home that may reduce the likelihood of a winter flare-up of eczema. Since extreme temperature fluctuations and dry air can trigger a winter flare-up, you can set up one or two humidifiers to pump moisture into the air. The heater should be set for a mid-range, comfortable level, but avoid having it blasting all day and night as this adds heat and dryness to the air inside the home. Watch out for subtle atmosphere changers like a gas fireplace, space heater or electric blanket.
Avoid Excessive Wetness on the Skin
Wet clothing against the skin is a serious contributor toward winter flare-ups of eczema. When coming in from snowy or wet weather, seniors should change into dry clothes right away. Similarly, they should avoid hot showers and baths, which can also trigger and eczema flare-up. Family caregivers and elderly care providers should focus on lukewarm water for aging adults.
Choose the Right Fabrics
Certain clothing can irritate eczema, especially fabrics that are more common in winter. Scratchy sweaters, wool clothing and more can make eczema worse, especially when compared to the lightweight cotton and synthetic materials more common in warmer weather. You must find the right balance between dressing for warmth and dressing for eczema. Light, loose clothing in layers is the best way for seniors to dress to avoid a winter flare-up of the skin condition.
It’s critical for everyone involved in the care of your aging loved one to pay attention to the factors that contribute to winter flare-ups for their eczema. From family members and friends to elderly care providers, everyone needs to focus on prevention and treatment to keep seniors comfortable and healthy as they live with eczema.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Wilmette IL, contact the caring staff at Gentle Home Services. Call today (800) 860-9823.