Psoriasis is a kind of skin problem that happens when skin cells develop more rapidly than they should. It results in skin cells collecting on the surface of the skin, forming scaly patches. The disease has no cure and symptoms may come and go over the course of a lifetime. Because of the transient nature of the symptoms, it can be helpful for family caregivers to know what signs to look for that signal a psoriasis flare up.
Flare Up Signs
Not everyone who has psoriasis experiences the same symptoms because they can vary by the kind of psoriasis the person has. However, experts have identified some of the most common symptoms of a psoriasis flare up, which are:
- Patches of skin that appear red and inflamed. They may have silvery scales on them. Sometimes the patches are quite large and may merge with other patches on the body.
- Skin that feels itchy and may crack or bleed. Skin may also feel sore or have a burning sensation.
- Changes in fingernails and toenails, such as pitting or thickening. Nails can also become brittle and crumbly, so they separate from the nailbed.
- Joints that feel stiff and swollen.
Common Causes of Flare Ups
Flare ups are often triggered by something. However, what triggers a flare up in one person may not cause one in the next. It can be helpful to track your aging relative’s symptoms as well as activities, foods they eat, and things they’ve come in contact with to determine what their triggers are. Some things that often trigger psoriasis flare ups are:
- Weather: Many people find that their psoriasis is worse when the weather is cold and dry.
- Stress: Feeling anxious and stressed can cause a flare up to begin. Try to keep your older family member as calm and stress-free as possible.
- Infections: Certain kinds of infections, like strep throat and tonsillitis, have been associated with flare ups.
- Skin Injuries: Even the smallest of injuries to the skin, like a bruise or a bug bite, can lead to an outbreak of psoriasis.
- Cigarette Smoke: Smoking or being exposed to secondhand smoke can result in a flare up.
Elder care can help older adults who suffer from psoriasis to deal with flare ups and help avoid them, too. An elder care provider can help to track symptoms and possible triggers by writing information down in a notebook. Elder care providers can also reduce the stress in a senior’s life simply by ensuring they have the help they need to continue living in their home and knowing they’ll have the assistance they need.
If you or an aging loved one are considering Elder Care in Colts Neck, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Lares Home Care 888-492-3538 or 732-566-1112.