Skin Conditions Common Among Elderly

According to, skin problems are common among the elderly but while some problems are considered a normal part of aging, others can be a sign of an underlying medical condition such as diabetes, heart or liver disease, or malnutrition. Skin problems can also be an adverse reaction to medication.
The website states dry skin to be the most common skin condition affecting the elderly population, affecting 75 percent of people over age 65.
The loss of oil glands as we age is the most common cause but dry skin can become cracked and infected if left untreated.
To combat dry skin, the website recommends bathing with moisturizing soap and applying a lotion with Eucerin. Also, ensuring water temperature is not too hot, wearing cotton clothing, using a soft wash cloth, drinking plenty of water, avoiding caffeine and using a humidifier or vaporizer to keep moisture in the air should help.
Bruising is another common skin problem as blood vessels become more fragile as we age.
To treat bruises recommends applying cold compresses to the bruise and avoiding medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories that cause bruising. If the bruise takes up a large area of the foot or leg, elevate the leg as much as possible.
Pressure sores and bed sores often happen when a patient is confined to a bed or chair.
To avoid these sores, the website recommends changing the patients position every few hours; making sure the mattress isn’t too hard; massaging the body to increase circulation; brush on a liquid band-aid to help heal the wound; and report any severe red spots to the doctor before the spots develop into sores.’
The elderly may also develop shingles, a painful disease that affects the nerves and should also be checked twice a year for skin cancer.

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