Understanding the main principles of skin care in older adults
David Voegeli Senior lecturer, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Southampton, Southampton
The skin is a complex organ with multiple functions. It undergoes two distinct ageing processes – intrinsic and extrinsic ageing – leading to specific changes in the structure and function of an older person’s skin. These changes reduce the effectiveness of the skin barrier and increase the vulnerability of the skin to breakdown. Knowledge of these changes enables a better understanding of the skin care needs of older people and how to promote healthy skin. Nurses are ideally placed to assess older people’s skin holistically, and the adoption of skincare protocols comprising cleansing, protection, hydrating and replenishing can have a significant effect on patient outcomes.
Nursing Standard. 27, 11, 59-68. doi: 10.7748/ns2012.11.27.11.59.c9414Peer review
This article has been subject to double blind peer review