Common Skin Disorders in the Elderly

  • Nages Nagaratnam
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
  • Gary Cheuk
Reference work entry


Skin diseases in the elderly are more often than not the effects of sun damage or vascular disease. In both community-dwelling elderly and nursing-home residents, seborrheic keratosis and xerosis have the highest prevalence exceeding over 75%, but in the dermatologic clinic, the presenting conditions are actinic keratosis, fungal infections and xerosis. Pruritic eruptions are common in the elderly especially those in their 70s and 80s. Melanoma is the fourth common cancer and is due to an uncontrolled growth of the pigmented cells, the melanocytes. Immunosenescence leads to occurrence of autoimmune skin disorders such as bullous pemphigoid, paraneoplastic pemphigus and pemphigus vulgaris and in older women lichen sclerosus and potential reactivation of the zoster virus. Psoriasis is a complex disease characterised by a chronic autoimmune-mediated inflammation. This review summarises the common skin conditions in the elderly, their prevalence, mechanisms and clinical management.


Photoageing Actinic keratosis Fungal infections Xerosis Pruritic eruptions Melanoma 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nages Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Kujan Nagaratnam
    • 1
  • Gary Cheuk
    • 2
  1. 1.The University of SydneyWestmead Clinical SchoolWestmeadAustralia
  2. 2.Rehabilitation and Aged Care ServiceBlacktown-Mt Druitt HospitalMount DruittAustralia

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