Elderly Adults and Skin Disorders

Common Problems for Nondermatologists

Chang R. Na, MD; Steven Wang, MD; Robert S. Kirsner, MD, PhD; Daniel G. Federman, MD

Disclosures

South Med J. 2012;105(11):600-606. 

In This Article

Abstract and Introduction

Abstract

Diseases of elderly adults are becoming increasingly important as life expectancy gradually rises worldwide. To promote healthy aging, it is important to understand the skin changes associated with aging. This review focuses on the special considerations for some of the more common dermatological disorders in elderly adults and examines presentation, contributing factors, and association with systemic diseases.

Introduction

Diseases of elderly adults are becoming increasingly important as life expectancy gradually rises worldwide. The proportion of elderly adults in the population continues to grow, and in the United States alone between 2000 and 2010, the population 65 years old and older grew 15.1%, whereas the overall population grew only 9.7%.[1] As of the 2010 US Census, there are 40 million (13%) adults age 65 and older in the United States.[1] To promote healthy aging, it is important to care for diseases that affect elderly adults. Because a complete review of all geriatric skin problems is beyond our intended scope, we focus on special considerations for some of the more common dermatological disorders in elderly adults and examine presentation, contributing factors, and association with systemic diseases.

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