Korean journal of dermatology, 49(2):141-146, 2011
Korean journal of dermatology; 대한피부과학회지
Background: With the development of medical science and technology, the proportion of the aged in the population has significantly increased. For the same reasons, concerns regarding skin aging and skin diseases in the geriatric population has increased.
Objective: To evaluate the recognition of skin health and disease in the elderly.
Methods: On April 2009, 190 elderly persons were asked to complete a questionnaire in 5 senior welfare centers in the city of in Korea. The questions included: satisfaction with the subject`s own skin; treatment-seeking behavior; knowledge and common sense about representative skin problems; efforts taken to achieve healthy skin.
Results: Among the elderly, 44.74% were dissatisfied with their own skin. The most complained about skin diseases in the elderly were pruritus and xerosis. Also, interest in esthetic problems such as wrinkles and pigmentation was high. On the question of whether they visit a dermatologic clinic when they develop skin problems, 40.53% of subjects said that they visited the dermatologic clinic. However, this means that 59.47% did not visit a dermatologic clinic. A somewhat unexpected finding was that knowledge of skin diseases and esthetic problems were plentiful in the geriatric population. Among the elderly, 81.05% did something to achieve skin health such as using a moisturizer or sunscreen.
Conclusion: The present study contributes to our understanding of the recognition of dermatologic problems in the geriatric populations. Dermatologists and society should pay more attention to the provision of correct information and appropriate treatments for skin diseases in the elderly.
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