Elderly individuals have an increased susceptibility to skin infections due to age-related anatomical, physiological and environmental factors. The types of organisms that cause primary skin and soft tissue infections are diverse, and include bacterial, viral and fungal pathogens as well as parasites.
Why do the elderly suffer from skin infections more often?
As we age, our skin changes in ways that can make it more prone to disease. That’s because older skin is less oily, less elastic, and thinner. It bruises easily and can take a long time to heal when cut.
What are skin problems with elderly?
Skin changes that accompany aging include: Roughened or dry skin. Benign growths such as seborrheic keratoses and cherry angiomas. Loose facial skin, especially around the eyes, cheeks, and jowls (jawline)
What causes infections in the elderly?
The prevalence of increased chronic diseases (e.g., chronic kidney disease, heart failure, lung failure), along with physiological changes caused by aging, frailty, and nutritional problems lead to increased frequency and severity of infections in geriatric patients (8, 36).
What are two of the most common problems associated with aging skin?
Growths such as skin tags, warts, brown rough patches (seborrheic keratoses), and other blemishes are more common in older people. Also common are pinkish rough patches (actinic keratosis) which have a small chance of becoming a skin cancer. As you age, you are at increased risk for skin injury.
Why do elderly get fungal infections?
Opportunistic fungal infections have increased, because older patients are now receiving transplanted solid organs or bone marrow, undergoing aggressive treatment of malignancies, and taking immunosuppressive medications for dermatologic and rheumatologic diseases.
Why do seniors have itchy skin?
Chronic itch, especially in the elderly, is fre- quently a symptom of xerosis (dry skin), which can be caused by atrophy of the skin barrier and diminished hydration. Other common causes in the older population also include dermatoses, such as eczema, psoriasis, lichen planus, urticaria, and bullous pemphigoid.
Why do older people get sores on their arms?
Aging skin is thought to be the most common cause of senile purpura. As the body ages, the skin becomes thinner and more delicate. Over time, exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays weakens the connective tissues that hold the blood vessels in their place.
How do elderly take care of their skin?
Elderly Skin Care Tips
- Use soap that contains a moisturizer or is formulated for dry skin.
- Use a moisturizing cream or lotion.
- Bathe every other day rather than every day to prevent drying out the skin.
- Drink plenty of water and other fluids.
- Limit caffeine which dries you out.
- Use humidifiers to add moisture to the air.
Why do old people’s skin turn black?
Age spots are caused by overactive pigment cells. Ultraviolet (UV) light speeds up the production of melanin, a natural pigment that gives skin its color. On skin that has had years of sun exposure, age spots appear when melanin becomes clumped or is produced in high concentrations.
What are some factors that increase risk of infection in older adults?
11 Risk Factors for Infections Among the Elderly
- Diminished immune response.
- Advanced age.
- The presence of multiple chronic diseases, a status that is often accompanied by many different medications.
- Cognitive deficits that may complicate compliance with basic sanitary practices, such as hand washing.
Which factors increase the older adults susceptibility to infections?
Factors that may contribute to the predisposition of the elderly to infections include impaired immune function, 47 , 55 anatomic and functional changes, 8 and degree of exposure to infections.
What is the most common bacterial infection in elderly?
Urinary tract infections, or UTIs, are the most common bacterial infection in older adults, reports the AAFP. The use of catheters or the presence of diabetes can increase the risk of UTIs in elderly people.
Why is elderly skin so dry?
Dry skin (xerosis) is a common dermatological feature in older people. This is caused by water loss from the stratum corneum, and as a consequence the skin is more likely to crack, which can result in itching, bleeding and asteatotic dermatitis.
How do you hydrate old skin?
Pat water gently from your skin after bathing, but leave a bit of water on your skin. Having some water on your skin when you apply moisturizer (next step) helps hydrate your skin. Apply a creamy, fragrance-free moisturizer formulated for dry skin within 3 minutes of bathing and throughout the day.
Does skin become more sensitive with age?
This is caused by thinning of the epidermis (surface layer of the skin). Skin becomes more fragile as we age. Increased skin fragility is caused by flattening of the area where the epidermis and dermis (layer of skin under the epidermis) come together.