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Skin Conditions Common in Older Adults

Authors urge whole-body skin examinations for geriatric patients

THURSDAY, Aug. 6, 2020 (HealthDay News) — Dermatological disorders are extremely common in older individuals, according to a study published online Aug. 4 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Suvi-Päivikki Sinikumpu, M.D., Ph.D., from University Hospital of Oulu in Finland, and colleagues used data from the Northern Finland Birth Cohort 1966 Study to assess the prevalence of skin findings and skin diseases among 552 adults 70 years of age and older.

The researchers found that nearly 80 percent of older adults had at least one skin disease that required further treatment or follow-up. Of these individuals, more than one-third (39.1 percent) had three or more simultaneous skin diseases. Compared with women, skin diseases were more common in men. Tinea pedis (48.6 percent), onychomycosis (29.9 percent), rosacea (25.6 percent), actinic keratosis (22.3 percent), and asteatotic eczema (20.8 percent) were the most common skin diseases. There were associations between skin diseases and socioeconomic status and living status.

“A whole-body clinical skin examination should be encouraged because it may reveal hidden cutaneous symptoms and it ensures timely diagnoses and appropriate treatment,” the authors write.

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