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Recommendations for managing cutaneous disorders associated with advancing age

Authors Humbert P, Dréno B, Krutmann J, Luger TA, Triller R, Meaume S, Seité S

Received 12 September 2015

Accepted for publication 20 December 2015

Published 12 February 2016 Volume 2016:11 Pages 141—148

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S96232

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Colin Mak

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker

Philippe Humbert,1 Brigitte Dréno,2 Jean Krutmann,3 Thomas Anton Luger,4 Raoul Triller,5 Sylvie Meaume,6 Sophie Seité7

1Research and Studies Centre on the Integument (CERT), Clinical Investigation Centre (CIC BT506), Department of Dermatology, Besançon University Hospital, University of Franche-Comté, Besançon, France; 2Department of Dermato-Cancerology, Nantes University Hospital, Nantes, France; 3IUF-Leibniz Research Institute for Environmental Medicine, Heinrich-Heine-University, Düsseldorf, Germany; 4Department of Dermatology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany; 5International Centre of Dermatology, Hertford British Hospital, Levallois, France; 6Geriatric Service, Wounds and Healing, Rothschild Hôspital, Paris, France; 7La Roche-Posay Dermatological Laboratories, Asnières, France

Abstract: The increasingly aged population worldwide means more people are living with chronic diseases, reduced autonomy, and taking various medications. Health professionals should take these into consideration when managing dermatological problems in elderly patients. Accordingly, current research is investigating the dermatological problems associated with the loss of cutaneous function with age. As cell renewal slows, the physical and chemical barrier function declines, cutaneous permeability increases, and the skin becomes increasingly vulnerable to external factors. In geriatric dermatology, the consequences of cutaneous aging lead to xerosis, skin folding, moisture-associated skin damage, and impaired wound healing. These problems pose significant challenges for both the elderly and their carers. Most often, nurses manage skin care in the elderly. However, until recently, little attention has been paid to developing appropriate, evidence-based, skincare protocols. The objective of this paper is to highlight common clinical problems with aging skin and provide some appropriate advice on cosmetic protocols for managing them. A review of the literature from 2004 to 2014 using PubMed was performed by a working group of six European dermatologists with clinical and research experience in dermatology. Basic topical therapy can restore and protect skin barrier function, which relieves problems associated with xerosis, prevents aggravating moisture-associated skin damage, and enhances quality of life. In conclusion, the authors provide physicians with practical recommendations to assist them in implementing basic skin care for the elderly in an integrated care approach.

Keywords: elderly, skin, cosmetic management

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