Eczema In Aging Seniors

As we age, our bodies undergo various changes, including the emergence of challenging conditions like Eczema.

Eczema, or Atopic Dermatitis, is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition affecting the face, elbows, knees, feet, and scalp. While commonly associated with children, it can persist into adulthood, including the senior years. This non-contagious condition varies in severity and requires proper, consistent skincare for prevention and management. Allcare Home Health has put together some information about the common symptoms, treatment options, and strategies for managing Eczema in seniors.

Common Symptoms

  • Redness and inflammation of the skin
  • Intense itching, which can be severe
  • Dryness and scaling of the skin
  • Appearance of small, raised bumps
  • Cracking or oozing of the skin
  • Thickened or leathery skin in chronic cases

Caregivers, CNAs and Home Health Aides can watch for triggers for eczema as flare-ups can vary from person to person. Most triggers commonly include exposure to allergens like pet dander, pollen, or dust mites. Stress, changes in weather conditions, harsh soaps, or detergents can also exacerbate symptoms.

Treatment Options

Hydrating the skin is crucial for managing eczema; ceramides or hyaluronic acid offer intense hydration, preventing dryness and relieving symptoms.

Topical corticosteroids effectively reduce inflammation and itching during eczema flare-ups, but prolonged use requires monitoring for potential side effects.

Immunosuppressant drugs are prescribed for severe eczema cases, suppressing the immune system’s response to reduce inflammation and itching.

Any treatment, including over the counter meds, should only be used after first consulting a physician.

Lifestyle modifications, such as avoiding triggers like harsh soaps and tight clothing and practicing gentle bathing with lukewarm water and fragrance-free soaps, support healthy skin maintenance and helps to prevent flare-ups.

Benefits of Home Healthcare

Home healthcare offers convenient solutions for seniors dealing with eczema as caregivers and home health aides can watch for changes and remind seniors to avoid triggers. They can also monitor effected areas of the skin and report any changes and concerns to the attention of medical professionals.

Eczema Management Tips

Create a Comfortable Environment: Ensure a clean, well-ventilated living space free from potential triggers like dust mites. Opt for soft fabrics and hypoallergenic bedding.

Follow a Skincare Routine: Assist seniors in establishing a regular skincare routine with mild, fragrance-free cleansers and recommended moisturizers. Encourage immediate moisturizer application after bath or shower.

Encourage Stress Management: Promote stress-relief techniques such as meditation, deep breathing, yoga, or engaging hobbies to help seniors relax.

Maintain Hygienic Practices: Guide seniors on proper hygiene, favoring short, lukewarm showers over hot baths to prevent excessive skin drying.

Provide Emotional Support: Recognize the emotional challenges of dealing with eczema in seniors. Actively listen, respect feelings, and offer encouragement throughout their journey.

Allcare Home Health caregivers receive ongoing in-service training in all areas of home healthcare. Monitoring changes in condition is part of that training. Call (919) 301-0236 or contact us today to learn more about the services that we provide.

American Academy of Dermatology. (2023, December). Can You Get Eczema as an Adult? The American Academy of Dermatology
National Eczema Association. (2019, December 3). Atopic dermatitis in older adults is common and hard to treat. Last updated: February 2, 2021.
Tétart F., Joly P. Eczema in elderly people. Eur J Dermatol. 2020 Dec 1;30(6):663-667. doi: 10.1684/ejd.2020.3915. PMID: 33258454.