Eczema and Elderly People: Understanding the Relation

With the passage of time, human skin undergoes countless changes that might be favorable or unfavorable to overall health. Mostly, the changes are unfavorable like, the overall capability of skin to perform its basic functions like power to retain water, etc. start losing. As the basic functions don’t work, so, skin problems start emerging.

One of such issues is eczema which is quite a common issue among the elderly people. Commonly, people consider it, a state of itching, however, the problem is ‘Not Just Itching’. Eczema causes itching to the next level and makes it uncontrollable in all manners. In the dry months of winters, the problem exhilarates and makes it quite daunting to control in any way. Hence, restlessness suffers them to the core.

The following age effects can be experienced on the skin:

  • Skin gets damaged easily with loose skin tissues because of fragile skin.
  • Dry skin leads to a lack of oil from the sebaceous skin glands.
  • Elderly people are more likely to dehydration which ultimately adversely affects the skin.
  • Less sweat is produced by the sweat glands because of glandular dysfunctions.
  • With lost temperature control, subcutaneous fat gets lost.
  • The risk of impaired circulation rises with the passage of age.
  • The skin sensations get reduced and the ability to feel the heat and touch getting abated.

These skin effects might become the main causes of eczema. Now let’s understand the relation of eczema and elderly people and kinds of eczema that they may suffer from:

In older people, eczema is quite prevalent and common. You will find every second old age person suffering from its symptoms. Eczema is of several kinds and almost all its kinds affect elderly people. As the usual functionality of the skin starts deteriorating and skin starts turning into the driest and poorly demarcated in elders, so, their relation with eczema is very deep. Here are the types of eczema from which our elders may suffer:

Asteatotic Eczema: In people over 60, this eczema is common and affects superficial skin layers by appearing as grooves or fissures of red or pink color.

Venous Eczema: It appears as red, scaly and itchy patches mostly on lower legs. People having varicose veins or have family history in that or have high body mass, are susceptible to this.

Contact Dermatitis: This one is temporary, not permanent. When the skin comes in contact with laundry detergent or any chemical causing irritation, or cause an allergic reaction, then the eczema type is dermatitis.

Seborrheic Eczema: This type of eczema appears on body parts that consist of excessive oil-producing glands, like, scalp, nose etc. it makes the skin swollen, greasy and red.

Nummular Eczema: This causes unbearable itchiness and in most of the cases, the sores are open. It can be found in a coin-shaped appearance on the skin.

These are the most common types of eczema that can be easily found in elderly people. People start facing symptoms right after the age of 50. As you age, extra care is required to maintain the skin healthy and keep it intact from eczema like problems.

You need to understand that eczema is a challenge for any age group. Due to the symptoms like itching, redness and uncertainty of healing, it becomes more difficult for the elderly to deal with the same. And then there are several additional challenges to make the problem worse. Say, there are many senior citizens who take medications for high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and antibiotics for infections. They can get a rash from an antibiotic or other medicine, which might be mistaken for eczema. Hence, it is advised to consult a doctor before you start with the medication.

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