Coping with Psoriasis

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Home Helpers of Alpharetta

August is Psoriasis Action Month.  Studies show over 7.4 million Americans have psoriasis, and for your older loved one it can pose uncomfortable challenges that can affect their quality of life. Understanding this condition and being able to recognize the symptoms can help you get the medical care they need.

Psoriasis Basics

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition. T cells in the body mistake healthy cells for an infection that needs to be fought.  This makes new skin cells rise to the surface of the skin much more quickly than they should, taking just days instead of weeks. They build up on the skin’s surface where they form red, itchy patches of skin that can appear scaly. The disease isn’t curable, but it can be treated to make symptoms better by slowing the abnormal growth of skin cells.  It often occurs with several other conditions like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, psoriatic arthritis and anxiety.  Psoriasis is not contagious.

Symptoms of Psoriasis

There are a number of types of psoriasis, and symptoms differ for every person.  Here are some of the common signs: 

• Patches of skin that are red and have silvery scales.

• Small scaly spots.

• Skin that is dry and cracked, that may bleed.

• Skin that itches, burns, or feels sore.

• Fingernails or toenails that are pitted, thick, or have ridges.

• Joints that are stiff and swollen.

Some people have only small spots of psoriasis while others have patches that cover larger areas of their bodies. Typically, people have cycles where symptoms worsen for a time, then get better for a while. They may even have periods of remission when no symptoms are present.

Watch for Triggers

Triggers vary from person to person.  Stress can cause psoriasis to flare up for the first time, so it’s helpful to practice stress and relaxation techniques.  Older skin that has been injured or traumatized is also at risk.  Watch carefully for damage like cuts or scrapes, moisturize regularly and maintain a healthy diet. Medication, shots, vaccines and even sunburns can bring on a flare up. 

It’s important to consult your doctor when you suspect psoriasis. When symptoms are accompanied by joint pain or swelling, your older loved one could have psoriatic arthritis.

This may be the ideal time to consider the benefits and peace of mind professional in-home care can provide. The companionship and assistance a carefully matched, heart centered Home Helpers caregiver provides can help your older loved one stay happy, healthy and safe as they age in place. Our highly personalized care can boost self-confidence and help live life to the fullest. A Home Helpers Caregiver has the skills to assist with all personal care, help around the house, provide transportation and specialized care for Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, etc.  

We know that despite the passing years, each of our clients has a youthful spirit.  Engaging that lets us share in the richness of their lives, both past and present. For a free in-home consultation and personalized plan contact Home Helpers of Alpharetta today

at (678) 430-8511.

 

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