Skin Diseases Highly Common in Older Adults

August 19, 2020

The new findings highlight need for whole-body skin evaluations in older patients.

Fully 80 percent of adults aged 70 to 93 have at least one skin disease that required treatment, and the most common conditions were fungal skin infections, rosacea, actinic keratosis, and eczema, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

Specifically, the most common skin diseases were tinea pedis (48.6 percent), onychomycosis (29.9 percent), rosacea (25.6 percent), actinic keratosis (22.3 percent), and asteatotic eczema (20.8 percent). 

The study also found that more than a third of participants (39.1 percent) 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," says lead author Suvi-Päivikki Sinikumpu, MD, PhD, of the University Hospital of Oulu, in Finland, in a news release. "A whole body skin examination may reveal hidden skin symptoms and ensures timely diagnoses and appropriate treatment."

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