October is National Eczema Awareness Month and it’s a great time for seniors and their families to learn more about this common skin condition. Eczema affects nearly as many seniors as it does children. Eczema is a skin condition that can affect any part of the body. It typically appears as clusters of small red bumps on the skin but it can also show up as large weeping pustules or even thickened, white, cracking skin. In-home care providers can help a senior with some of the suggestions listed here.
It’s believed that eczema is due to an autoimmune response that causes the body to start attacking itself after being exposed to a trigger. Medication can help some people, but there are also some home remedies that can alleviate the itch and pain of eczema. Home remedies alone can’t cure eczema, but they can make it more bearable.
Seniors should ask their in-home care providers to do things like wash dishes and do the laundry so that seniors can avoid exposing their skin to any harsh soaps or irritants. To sooth eczema seniors can also:
Moisturize with Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is a soothing natural oil that isn’t greasy or sticky. It’s very easily absorbed into the skin and it won’t clog pores. But the reason why so many dermatologists recommend that seniors with eczema moisturize with coconut oil is that coconut oil has natural antibacterial properties. So, moisturizing with coconut oil can help prevent skin infections that can occur with eczema.
Use Cool Compresses
If the skin is particularly red and inflamed or it’s very itchy seniors can get relief by applying cold compresses to the area and letting the cold help reduce the inflammation. It’s a good idea to get a lavender or chamomile eye pillow that is filled with flaxseed or rice and keep it in the freezer. Use that on the skin to cool it down. The cotton sleeve of the eye pillow will be gentle on the skin and it will hold the cold for about half an hour.
Have In-Home Care Aides Prepare Oatmeal Baths or Add ACV To Baths
Soaking in a warm bath is usually bad for anyone that has eczema, but warm baths that are filled with whole oats are extremely soothing and healing for the skin. Add some lavender essential oil and oats to a warm bath for a very relaxing and healing bath. Or, put a capful of apple cider vinegar in a warm bath and have your senior loved one soak in that for a while. The apple cider vinegar will kill bacteria and soften and soothe the skin.
Use Lukewarm Water To Shower
Seniors that have eczema should shower in warm water, not hot water. Hot water can be very hard on the skin and cause the skin to be even drier and itchier. It’s also a good idea for seniors to use gentle soaps. Oatmeal soap or skin-soothing herbal bar soaps are the best soaps for seniors with eczema to use when they’re showering.