Understanding Psoriasis in the Elderly

By 9  am 0n


Psoriasis is a common skin condition that has been linked to genetic causes and triggers that affect the immune system. Although psoriasis is usually identified early in a person’s life, many people over the age of 50 receive this diagnosis for the first time due to changes in their health. Seniors with psoriasis should also understand the roles aging and medications play in their treatment plans. 


Causes & Symptoms

Although the risk of developing psoriasis is linked to genetics, it’s believed that exposure to a specific trigger is necessary for a person to experience symptoms. Many of these triggers, such as new medications or an infection, aren’t experienced until a person reaches the senior years. 

Symptoms of psoriasis depend on the specific type of the condition. However, family members may notice the following common signs:

  • Patches of red, irritated skin 
  • Itching 
  • Silver-colored scales 
  • Pain at lesion sites

Living with serious health conditions can make it challenging for seniors to age in place. However, they can maintain a higher quality of life with the help of professional live-in care. Miami seniors can benefit from assistance with meal prep, bathing, transportation to the doctor’s office, medication reminders, and much more.


Concerns for Senior Skin

Aging skin is typically drier, which can irritate psoriasis. If the skin around lesions becomes cracked, there’s a greater risk of infection. Additionally, seniors who take certain medications, such as beta blockers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, may notice their flare-ups increase when they change the types or amounts of their medication. 

Infections are known to cause psoriasis because they add stress to the immune system and cause an inflammatory reaction. Ensure your loved one gets immediate treatment when he or she has an infection. Also, if you notice your loved one has a wound or cut, make sure it’s properly cleaned and covered to prevent an infection. 

Seniors with mobility limitations or health issues may find it difficult to care for their skin without assistance. If your senior loved one has been diagnosed with a serious condition and needs help with tasks like meal prep, transportation, bathing, and grooming, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a leading provider of homecare families can trust. We also offer comprehensive care for seniors with dementia, Alzheimer’s, and Parkinson’s.


Preventing & Managing Flare-Ups

It can take some time to learn which triggers affect psoriasis. However, protecting the skin by wearing sunscreen and applying moisturizer during periods of dryness can prevent flare-ups. Practicing stress management techniques and eating a healthy diet rich in vitamin A can also be beneficial. Seniors should talk to their physicians about topical medications that may provide relief during flare-ups. Finally, all seniors with psoriasis should make sure their medical teams are aware of their skin condition so caution can be used when introducing new medications. 

Living with psoriasis can be challenging, but with help from a home caregiver, your loved one can tackle psoriasis pain and carry out daily tasks. If your elderly loved one needs help maintaining a high quality of life while aging in place, reach out to Assisting Hands Home Care, a trusted provider of Miami in-home care. Our caregivers provide transportation to and from medical appointments and social events, nutritious meal preparation, assistance with daily exercise, and help with everyday tasks like bathing, grooming, and light housekeeping. If you need professional care for your loved one, reach out to one of our Care Managers today.