Age-related changes in skin structure
Skin Changes with Age
Barrier properties - reduced due to:
Decreased sweat and sebaceous activity
Thinning of the epidermis and dermis
Skin is dryer
Microvasculature - diminished blood flow
Fewer vessels in the skin
Disorganized and tortuous remaining vessels
Immunologic Function - decreases
Acute inflammatory reactions are diminished.
Contact allergy less severe.
Heat loss through skin increases
Reduced Cellular Turnover
Slower wound repair
Despite decreased immune response, inflammation is very common in geriatric skin.
Eczematous dermatitis = general term for erythematous, scaly skin.
May be generalized and non- specific in pattern
Irritant contact dermatitis is often caused by soaps, detergents, and other cleaners (like bleach) as well as formalin, latex, and certain antimicrobial skin ointments.
Allergic contact dermatitis include urushiol (a chemical in poison ivy, poison oak, and mango), nickel in hairpins, earrings, zippers, door handles, and ingredients in hair dyes, insecticides, fungicides, and rubber products.
Pruritis without a dermatitis
a specific condition of itching with no preceding rash
causes include :
Malignancy (especially lymphomas)
Anemia, particularly iron deficiency
Renal or liver disease
Autoantibodies to epidermal adherence molecules
May develop in association with either malignant or benign tumors
Benign : Castleman’s tumor, thymomas
Malignant: Non-hodgkin’s lymphoma, adenocarcinomas, sarcomas