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  • Author or Editor: P. Holló x
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Abstract

People in the developed countries are living longer. Geriatric dermatology is playing an increasingly important role as chances of developing skin-related problems increase with their ageing. Skin ageing is induced by two main processes: intrinsic and extrinsic. Extrinsic ageing is caused by environmental factors such as sun exposure, smoking, alcohol consumption, air pollution, and poor nutrition. Intrinsic ageing reflects the genetic background and depends on time. The aged skin is characterised by the appearance of dryness, atrophy, wrinkles, pigmented lesions, patchy hypopigmentation, and elastosis. This article provides an overview of skin ageing processes and common conditions found in the elderly persons such as xerosis, pruritus, and eczema.

Open access

Abstract

The ageing processes, primarily after the age of 60, bring about a number of important changes that affect the skin’s protective function. These changes directly and indirectly increase its vulnerability and impair its ability to heal. Hence, the incidence of chronic wounds increases in the elderly population. Dry skin, often accompanied by itching and consequent scratching, can lead to the development of wounds. The skin’s ability to regenerate itself is also impaired by the atrophy that affects all the three layers of the skin, the epidermis, dermis, and subcutis. The deterioration of vascularisation and innervation increases the chance of ulcer formation and impaired healing of existing wounds. Together these lead to the development of chronic lower limb ulcers in elderly patients or decubitus in older bedridden patients. Bedsores are more likely to develop in older patients with reduced body weight due to their decreased amount of adipose tissue capable of pressure-relieving. This latter negative tendency may be exacerbated by the presence of reduced mobility, impaired muscle strength, and frequent incontinence. In all respects, the propensity to heal is worse than in younger age, thus in many cases a chronic process is expected, and in some cases halting the progression may be a significant outcome. Ulcers of rare aetiology can occur at any age, so pyoderma gangrenosum, vasculitis, and other ulcers with rare aetiology in the elderly population should also be considered.

Open access

Abstract

The incidence of all types of malignant skin tumours, including both melanoma and non-melanoma types, has increased in recent decades, while basal cell carcinoma is the most common human malignancy in the Caucasian race. The aging of the skin is associated with an increase in both benign and malignant tumours. As the population ages and life expectancy extends, mostly in developed countries, dermatologists are likely to face growing numbers of patients seeking therapy for such abnormalities. It is primarily UV irradiation that is responsible for the development of skin cancers, although there are other risk factors, including air pollution and X-ray irradiation. Seborrhoeic keratosis, solar lentigo and other benign lesions, despite their harmless nature, may cause distress to patients, such as itching or aesthetic issues. This review article summarises the features of the most common benign and malignant lesions of aging skin.

Open access