80% of Older Adults Have at Least One Skin Disease – 39% Have 3 or More

Psoriasis Skin Disease

Skin diseases are prevalent among older individuals.

In a study of 552 adults aged 70 to 93 years old, 80% of participants had at least one skin disease that required treatment, and the most common conditions were fungal skin infections, rosacea, actinic keratosis, and eczema.

The study, which is published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, also found that more than a third of participants (39.1%) had three or more simultaneous skin diseases.

Skin diseases were more common in males than in females, and there were weak associations between different skin diseases and socioeconomic status and living status (living alone or with a spouse/other family member).

“This research emphasizes the importance of whole body skin evaluations in older patients, as skin diseases are common in this age group,” said lead author Suvi-Päivikki Sinikumpu, MD, Ph.D., of the University Hospital of Oulu, in Finland. “A whole-body skin examination may reveal hidden skin symptoms and ensures timely diagnoses and appropriate treatment.”

Reference: “The High Prevalence of Skin Diseases in Adults Aged 70 and Older” by Suvi‐Päivikki Sinikumpu MD, Ph.D.; Jari Jokelainen MSc; Anna K. Haarala MD; Maija‐Helena Keränen MD; Sirkka Keinänen‐Kiukaanniemi MD, Ph.D. and Laura Huilaja MD, Ph.D., 4 August 2020, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.
DOI: 10.1111/jgs.16706

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