Eczema, which is sometimes called atopic dermatitis, is a condition that causes the skin to get itchy and red.
Although it happens most often in children, it can affect people at any age, including into their senior years. Eczema can go away for a while and then flare up again. There’s no cure for the condition, but researchers are continuing to look into ways to treat it. Recently, researchers made a potentially ground-breaking discovery about the use of “good” bacteria to treat eczema. What they learned just may lead to new treatment options for your aging relative.
The “Good” Bacteria Study
When you think of bacteria, your first thoughts are probably of harmful bacteria that can cause illness. However, the skin and digestive tracts of all humans is also home to many kinds of bacteria that are helpful. They are often referred to as “good” bacteria.
For this recent study, scientists studied whether introducing good bacteria to the skin of eczema patients might reduce symptoms. They took a specific kind of bacterium, called Roseomonas mucosa, from people who did not have eczema and placed it on the skin of people with the condition.
Adult participants spritzed their inner elbow with a solution of sugar water that contained the bacterium and also one other area of their skin, which they chose. In addition, they used their regular treatment methods. After just a couple of weeks, participants noticed fewer eczema symptoms and some were even able to cut back on their usual treatment. The treatment didn’t appear to cause any harmful side effects.
Other Ways to Ease Eczema Symptoms
This new research is early, so the treatment isn’t available yet. However, there are many things you can do to help your aging relative manage eczema symptoms, including:
–Moisturize: Apply creams, lotions, or ointments twice per day to help keep senior skin from getting too dry.
–Avoid Triggers: Eczema triggers can vary, so you’ll need to determine what causes eczema flare-ups in your aging relative. Some common triggers are sweat, stress, soaps, dust, and pollen.
–Warm Baths or Showers: Instead of using hot water when the older adult bathes or showers, use warm water to prevent drying. A shorter bath or shower may also help.
–Bleach Bath: A diluted-bleach bath can reduce some of the bad bacteria on the skin. Use ½ cup of bleach for 40 gallons of water. Before trying bleach baths, talk to the senior’s doctor.
–Pat Dry: After bathing, instead of rubbing the skin dry, pat it gently.
Senior care providers can assist with the management of eczema symptoms. An elder care provider can help the senior to safely bathe in cooler water, patting them dry when they are done. If the doctor approves the use of a bleach bath, an elder care provider can prepare the bath. An elder care provider can also apply moisturizers to the skin.
If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care in Loudoun County, VA, please contact the caring staff at LivinRite Home Care. Call Us Today at (703) 634-9991.