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


South Med J. 2012;105(11):600-606. 

In This Article


Caring for the dermatologic conditions of elderly people presents a unique but important challenge. Elderly patients have distinct health problems and it is important that healthcare providers become more familiar with the needs of older adults as the population increases in age and more patients are living longer. The first step to treating skin disorders in elderly adults is the successful identification of common dermatological problems. Knowledge of these issues is crucial for primary care physicians, who are often the main care provider who comes in regular contact with these patients, and for any other healthcare provider who interacts with this population. Regular skin examinations by a knowledgeable healthcare provider who is sensitive to the special needs of elderly adults can substantially improve the quality of life among elderly patients.