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Skin conditions

Dry skin is one of the most common skin complaints in older adults. The main cause of dry skin is the loss of oil glands as we age. Bed sores are also common among older adults who are unable to move on their own. While some skin conditions are considered a normal part of aging, others can be indicative of an underlying health problem. Find out more below.

Diabetic foot care: Awareness and prevention are vital
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3 tips to prevent bed sores
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Fighting the fungus among us: Treatment options for toenail fungus
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  • Evidence Summary

    Higher density foam mattresses and sheepskins reduce risk of pressure ulcers

    Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews (2015)
  • Evidence Summary

    Oral antifungal medication for toenail onychomycosis.

    Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2017)
  • Web Resource Rating

    Treating pressure ulcers: New evidence, continued uncertainty

    Evidently Cochrane
    Gauze dressings should not be used to treat pressure ulcers (bed sores). Other options include alginate dressings, hydrogel dressings, and negative pressure wound therapy. More evidence is needed about which options are best to improve pain and reduce complications. Research should measure outcomes that matter to patients and carers as well as health professionals.
  • Web Resource Rating

    What are the treatment options for rosacea?

    Informed Health Online
    Creams containing azelaic acid or the antibiotic metronidazole may help with your rosacea symptoms.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Psoriatic arthritis

    UpToDate - patient information
    Psoriatic arthritis causes joint pain and stiffness in people with psoriasis, and often nail and eye problems. Treatment might include weight loss, exercise, heat and physical therapy. Medications can also help.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Detecting non-melanoma skin cancer

    Informed Health Online
    Skin changes are a normal part of aging. See your doctor if you have a new mole, growth or spot that hasn't healed after 4 to 8 weeks. This resource describes what to look for.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Acupuncture for itchiness: An evidence-based solution

    Evidence-based Living
    There is some evidence showing that acupuncture helps relieve itchiness. More research is needed. If you suffer from itchiness it may be worth giving a try.
  • Evidence Summary

    Interventions for female pattern hair loss.

    Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2016)
  • Evidence Summary

    Interventions for rosacea.

    Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2015)
  • Web Resource Rating

    Topical treatments for psoriasis

    Informed Health Online
    There are different treatments for psoriasis. One option involves applying medication such as steroids right on the skin. Steroids have been shown to be effective and well tolerated.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Skin exam

    Canadian Cancer Society
    Skins exams help detect signs of skin issues and cancer. They are usually done yearly or more often if you are at higher risk for skin cancer. Learn the ABCDE rule or the seven point checklist that doctors use to recognize the differences between normal moles and melanoma.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Is it OK to get Botox treatments at a Botox party?

    Mayo Clinic
    Experts recommend that cosmetic procedures, including Botox injections take place in a doctor's office. Some side effects of Botox include pain, bruising and muscle weakness.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Psoriasis

    Informed Health Online
    Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease that is not contagious. Symptoms include red patches, scaly skin and itchy skin. Creams, bathing, UV light therapy or medications can help.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Common warts

    Mayo Clinic
    Warts are bumps with black dots that grow mostly on hands and fingers. They are caused by a virus and are contagious. Treatments include medications with salicylic acid or freezing.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Warts: Should I treat warts?

    OHRI
    This patient decision aid helps individuals with common warts or plantar warts decide on whether or not to treat warts by comparing the benefits, risks and side effects of both options.
  • Patient Decision Aid

    Warts: Should I treat warts?

    OHRI
    This patient decision aid helps individuals with common warts or plantar warts decide on whether or not to treat warts by comparing the benefits, risks and side effects of both options.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Best sunscreen: Understand sunscreen options

    Mayo Clinic
    The best ways to protect yourself from the sun are to avoid being outside mid-day, wear protective clothing and use sunscreen. Choose broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of at least 15 and re-apply often.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Age spots (liver spots)

    Mayo Clinic
    Avoid strong and direct sunshine to help prevent age spots. See your doctor if the spot has abnormal shape, color or if it changes size. More tips for preventing, recognizing and treating age spots in this resource as well as questions to ask your doctor.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Hives (urticaria)

    UpToDate - patient information
    Hives are raised, itchy bumps that are red in colour. Hives usually appear suddenly and last a few days to a week or two. Treatment can include antihistamines, oral steroids, and avoiding allergens or other triggers. See a doctor immediately if your hives appear with serious allergy symptoms such as trouble breathing, vomiting or passing out.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Reducing your risk for melanoma

    Canadian Cancer Society
    Melanoma is a type of skin cancer. To reduce your risk use sunscreen, cover your skin, sit in the shade and wear sunglasses. Do not use indoor tanning beds. Check your skin regularly for changes in the shape, colour or size of moles and birthmarks.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Finding melanoma early

    Canadian Cancer Society
    Symptoms of melanoma (a type of skin cancer) include: changes in moles or spots on the skin, new marks, asymmetric moles, a mole without a clear border, or a mole that looks different from others. You may be at more risk if family members have had melanoma.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Rosacea

    Informed Health Online
    Rosacea is a skin condition that causes red patches on your face. Treatments include antibiotics or medicated gels, creams and lotions. Avoiding things that trigger your rosacea can help prevent it.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Finding non-melanoma skin cancer early

    Canadian Cancer Society
    Symptoms of non-melanoma skin cancer include: a non-healing sore, lumps on skin, red patches and waxy looking skin. Talk to your doctor if you have any of these symptoms, or if you have a history of skin cancer.
  • Web Resource Rating

    What treatment options are there for warts?

    Informed Health Online
    Warts are almost always harmless and usually disappear on their own in time. Common treatments include salicyclic acid and cryotherapy (freezing the warts).
  • Web Resource Rating

    Bedsores (pressure ulcers)

    Mayo Clinic
    Bedsores are caused by pressure on one part of the skin for too long. Change position frequently if confined to bed or a wheelchair and use supportive mattresses or cushions. Check, protect and clean skin regularly.
  • Evidence Summary

    Autologous platelet-rich plasma for treating chronic wounds.

    Cochrane Database Syst Rev (2016)
  • Web Resource Rating

    Can antibiotics prevent cellulitis from coming back?

    Informed Health Online
    A low-dose of penicillin every day for up to a year may prevent cellulitis from recurring, with few side effects. It is important, however, to use the penicillin properly to prevent bacterial resistance.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Menopause, hormone therapy & aging skin: Is there a connection?

    National Women’s Health Network
    Hormone therapies are unlikely to prevent wrinkles, skin dryness or sagging. The estrogen in hormone therapies can actually cause a dark spotting on the skin. Quit smoking and use sunscreen to help prevent early skin aging.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Malignant wounds

    Canadian Virtual Hospice
    Malignant wounds are open cancerous sores on the skin. Treatment goals are to manage pain, bleeding, smell, infection, and emotional distress and to improve quality of life.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Preventing pressure sores

    Canadian Virtual Hospice
    Pressure sores are caused by lying or sitting down in one position for a long period of time. To treat pressure sores: clean skin daily, use moisturizer, and avoid hot water. Make sure clothes and sheets are clean and without wrinkles, and change positions every two hours. Find more tips here.
  • Web Resource Rating

    Protecting senior skin from winter weather damage

    Aging Care
    Older adults are more likely to get skin damage in the winter. Protect your skin: use cream, drink a lot of water, wear warm clothing, use sunscreen, do not shower for a long time and put a humidifier in your home.
  • Blog Post

    Fighting the fungus among us: Treatment options for toenail fungus

    Dreading sandal season? Fungal infections are unpleasant to look at and difficult to treat, but research shows that oral antifungal medications can be effective, although they come with some side effects.
  • Blog Post

    3 tips to prevent bed sores

    Long periods of lying or sitting in one position can lead to pressure sores (also known as bed sores). There are simple and effective options to help prevent this painful condition.
  • Blog Post

    The shingles vaccine: Should you get it?

    Shingles is a painful condition that can attack anyone who has ever had chicken pox, but is most likely to strike older adults and others with weakened immune systems. A vaccine is available that cuts the chance of getting shingles by half. Is it worth it? Dr. Mark Loeb provides a professional view and shingles patient Jean shares her personal experience.
  • Blog Post

    Diabetic foot care: Awareness and prevention are vital

    People with diabetes are at significantly higher risk for foot disease including ulcers that can lead to serious health problems. A leading expert in diabetic foot care provides important facts and strategies for prevention and protection.

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