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Official Journal of the Italian Society of Dermatology and Sexually Transmitted Diseases
Indexed/Abstracted in: EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,014
Online ISSN 1827-1820
Rubegni P. 1, Poggiali S. 1, Nami N. 1, Rubegni M. 2, Fimiani M. 1
1 Section of Dermatology, Department of Clinical Medicine and Immunological Sciences, University of Siena, Siena, Italy;
2 Department of Geriatric Medicine, University of Siena, Siena, Italy
AIM: With the progressive aging of the Italian population, geriatric health care has become a major issue for health authorities. However, little data is available regarding geriatric skin diseases. In order to provide rapid access to specialist help, in 2003 we created a dermatology clinic dedicated only to geriatric patients age 65 and older.
METHODS: To determine the characteristic pattern and the prevalence of various skin disorders among the geriatric patients seen at the clinic, we performed a retrospective and descriptive study of all skin diseases in patients seen in our office from January 2003 to December 2009. We evaluated: age, proportion and gender for all skin disease categories.
RESULTS: A total of 2100 geriatric patients were examined. The male to female ratio was 1.4 to 1. The most common disorder was pruritus “sine materia” (18.9%) followed by benign tumors (13.5%); 9.1% of our patients presented with actinic keratoses and 13.2% with malignant tumors. As reported by others, the quality of life in patients with skin cancer was better than patients with rashes as skin cancer patients tended to wait longer before seeking specialist care. To improve the assessment of skin diseases, we often worked closely with skin cancer was better than patients with rashes as skin cancer patients tended to wait longer before seeking specialist care. To improve the assessment of skin diseases, we often worked closely with colleagues form the Department of Geriatric Medicine.
CONCLUSION: The prevalence of skin diseases in our patients emphasized the importance of educating the elderly about sun protection, the early detection of skin cancer, the use of emollients and proper skin care in general.