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4.6: Age Related Dysfunctions to the Integumentary System

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    Acrochordon is a condition which affects older women. Acrochordon is characterized by small pendulous growths on the skin, otherwise known as skin tags. The skin tags contain dermal connective tissues and blood vessels. They are thought to be associated with hormonal imbalances.

    Decubitus Ulcers

    Decubitus ulcers is a condition which affects people who are bedridden or otherwise immobilized, such as those confined to a wheelchair or who spend their days sitting rather than moving about. The decubitus ulcers are characterized by cavities of dead tissue that form in the skin. The constant pressure from being immobile reduces blood flow to skin and irritates the tissue. Bacteria can then attack the weakened tissue.

    Herpes Zoster

    Herpes zoster is a condition which can affects people of all ages, but is most common in people between the ages of 50 and 70. Also known as shingles, the disease is characterized by itching and aching pain which is followed by the appearance of small red papules on the skin. The papules are replaced by small fluid-filled vesicles which burst and can be quite painful. The disease is caused by the same virus that causes chickenpox. After entering the body and causing chickenpox, the virus lays dormant in the body for years only to reappear later in life.


    Lentigo is a condition which affects people above the age of 50 years. Commonly known as liver spots or senile freckle, lentigo is characterized by blemishes on the skin associated with aging and exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. They range in color from light brown to red or black and are located in areas most often exposed to the sun, particularly the hands, face, shoulders, arms and forehead, and the scalp if bald.

    Seborrheic Keratosis

    Seborrheic keratosis is a condition which affects middle-age and older adults. The condition is characterized by the formation of benign epidermal tumors. These flesh-colored, oval, raised plaques typically form on the face, scalp, chest, or back. Gradually these plaques thicken, enlarge, and darken. Seborrheic keratosis is an inherited condition.

    Senile Angiomas

    Senile angiomas is a condition which affects 75% of people over the age of seventy. The condition is characterized by red spots ranging from very tiny to over one-quarter inch in diameter. These spots are caused by clusters of dilated capillaries.

    Senile Keratosis

    Senile keratosis is a condition affecting middle-age and elderly adults. Senile keratosis is characterized by localized red areas on the skin. The areas are generally flat when they first appear but gradually thicken.

    Senile Purpura

    Senile purpura is a condition which affects older people and characterized by irregularly shaped purple patches. These are bruises resulting from minimal trauma, mostly commonly found on the forearms and hands. As one ages capillaries weakened and results in blood pools under the skin leaving a bruise.

    Senile Pruritus

    Senile pruritus is a condition which affects the elderly and characterized by drier and less pliant skin which leads to the development of tiny cracks in the skin. The condition develops as a result of the gradual loss of oil-secreting sebaceous glans and sweat glands, as well as a reduction in the water content of skin.

    Contributors and Attributions

    CC licensed content, Original
    • Age Related Dysfunctions to the Integumentary System. Authored by: Kelly, Jessica. Provided by: Herkimer College. Located at: NA. Project: AtD Course. License: CC BY: Attribution

    4.6: Age Related Dysfunctions to the Integumentary System is shared under a not declared license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by LibreTexts.

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