Other Free Encyclopedias » Medicine Encyclopedia » Aging Healthy - Part 2 » Foot - Nail Conditions, Skin Conditions, Joint And Bone Conditions, Circulatory Conditions, Proper Shoe Gear And Selection

Foot - Skin Conditions

xerosis evaluated helpful dry

Older adults show a high prevalence of dry skin or xerosis due to normal metabolic and nutritional skin changes that causes dehydration and decreased elasticity in skin layers. Severe dry skin can lead to fissures or cuts and predispose the patient to serious bacterial and fungal infections.

To avoid misdiagnosis all initial skin presentations should be evaluated professionally with microbiological tests if necessary. Xerosis and fungal infections can be treated with topical preparations. For severe xerosis, creams used under occlusion (i.e., plastic wrap) have proved helpful. The use of pumice stones are helpful in safely removing skin cells but rarely relieve the condition alone.

Corns and calluses are common in elderly persons. Caused by constant pressure, friction, or trauma to one area, this skin thickness or hyperkeratosis can be very painful.

Ulcerations or abscesses can occur under these lesions, requiring immediate medical treatment. Footwear should be evaluated for proper fit as tight shoes can contribute to and exacerbate this condition. Periodic scalpel debridement by a podiatrist has been shown to cause immediate relief. Over the counter "corn removers" should be used with caution. They often contain acid and can be dangerous in patients with diabetes or poor circulation.

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