If your older family member has psoriasis, the doctor has probably told them that keeping their skin from getting too dry is an important part of easing the symptoms. There are a lot of different things seniors can use on their skin for psoriasis. One of them is an emollient. If youre not familiar with emollients, knowing more about them can help you to decide if they are right for your aging relative.
What is an Emollient?
An emollient is a substance that protects the skin and keeps moisture in. They both add moisture to the skin and keep moisture from evaporating away. An emollient can either be a natural substance or a man-made one. An emollients ability to trap moisture near the skin is what makes it different from a moisturizer. Moisturizers add moisture to the skin, but emollients also keep the skin from losing moisture. They keep skin smooth and soft.
There are several different kinds of emollients. Seniors may have to try a few different kinds to find what they like best and what works well for their psoriasis symptoms. Emollients are divided into their different kinds based on how much oil is in them. Some kinds of emollients are:
- Ointments: Ointments are the oiliest kind of emollient. Theyre thick and do a great job of trapping moisture in the skin. They are a good choice for seniors whose skin is extremely dry or is cracked.
- Creams: Creams are an even mix of oil and water. Theyre easy to spread on the skin but arent as effective at moisturizing the skin as ointments are. However, theyre also less messy because of the lower oil content.
- Lotions: Lotions contain mostly water and only a little oil. They are easy to spread, so they work well on the scalp or other parts of the body that have more hair. However, since lotions contain preservatives, there is a greater chance of a negative reaction to them. Before spreading a new lotion all over your older family members body, test it on a small area first.
What Do Emollients Do for Psoriasis?
Emollients have many positive effects for people with psoriasis. Some of them are:
- Reducing the scaling caused by psoriasis.
- Relieving itch.
- Softening and healing cracks in skin.
- Add moisture to the skin.
- Allows topical medications to penetrate the skin better.
If your older family member has been advised by their doctor to use an emollient, a home care provider can help them to apply it. Older adults may have trouble getting the emollient on parts of their body that are hard for them to reach, so a home care provider can apply the emollient for them. A home care provider an also drive the senior to the pharmacy to purchase an emollient.
If you or an aging loved one is considering home care in Plymouth, MN, and the surrounding areas, please contact the friendly staff at CareBuilders at Home Minnesota. Call today 612-260-2273.