Skin changes in old age include normal age-related processes as well as pathological changes in the skin to be treated.


The skin organ is exposed to many stresses and strains every day. Over the decades, aging processes occur throughout the body, which first become visible on the skin.

Causes skin changes in old age

External and internal influences act on the skin.
The outer ones include:

  • UV radiation
  • climate
  • mechanical friction
  • Cigarette and alcohol consumption

Read more on the topic: What is Oxidative Stress?

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Internal influences on the complexion in old age have:

  • Hormones, especially the sex hormones, the levels of which decrease with age.
  • the immune system and
  • the cardiovascular system, which is responsible for blood circulation in the skin.
  • Decrease in the skin's own protective acid mantle, so that skin infections such as skin fungus occur more quickly. The skin becomes thinner and loses its elasticity.
  • The sebum glands limit their function, so the skin becomes drier.
  • The subcutaneous fat also breaks down.

Symptoms of normal aging

  • Skin atrophy - this means that the skin becomes thinner, more wrinkled and less resilient with age.

  • Delayed wound healing - since all of the body's processes run more slowly in old age, the body also needs longer for wound healing. The risk of wound healing disorders after operations is therefore somewhat increased.

  • Skin xerosis - means dry and flaky skin. This is caused by a drying up of the sebum function.

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  • Hair loss in old age - hair becomes thinner, mainly due to hormonal changes.

  • Nail dystrophy - nail growth also declines, brittle nails and a tendency to nail fungus can occur.

  • Senilis purpura - fragility of the blood vessels causes reddening of the skin

  • Age warts (Seborrheic keratosis) - bulbous, mostly brownish benign skin overgrowth.

  • Age spots - pigment spots, especially on the face and back of hands

Symptoms of abnormal skin changes

  • Shingles - mostly in Rib cage area, less often on the face, itchy painful blisters caused by an activation of dormant Chickenpox Virus be evoked.

  • Skin fungus - especially in Space between the toes, itchy and flaky skin changes.

  • Itching of old age - The skin is itchy everywhere, red wheals may appear. itching however, the skin can also have many other causes, e.g. Diabetes, kidney failure, vitamin deficiency.

  • Actinic keratosis - by UV light caused precursor of white skin cancer. Mostly the bald head, forehead, bridge of the nose or the ear are affected.

The three types of skin cancers: Basal cell carcinoma, Squamous cell carcinoma (both summarized as white skin cancer) and that malignant melanoma (Black Skincancer)

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Age warts can be removed surgically.

Depending on the skin changes, various measures are promising:

Lies Skin cancer underlies the treatment is incumbent on the Dermatologist! Cancer precursors like the "actinic keratosis" have to close-knit supervised become.

Shingles can with antiviral drugs are usually treated successfully by the family doctor. Skin fungus is treated with antifungal agents.

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Age warts can with one sharp spoon can be removed by a dermatologist or family doctor.

Skin aging in itself is a normal process that cannot be completely stopped even by the most expensive anti-aging products. Botox injections, laser, Hormonal preparations, urea-containing creams and Vitamin A acid peelings are the most common anti-aging products. However, when used in a targeted manner and administered by experienced physicians, they can bring visible benefits. The daily skin care is and remains the most important thing to maintain the skin's elasticity and natural barrier.


To face the one hand Skin cancer to protect, but also the symptoms normal Skin aging to brake, you should have a sufficient Sun protection Instruct. Avoid the midday sun and wear a hat when the sun is shining. Be sure to look out for one sufficient Drinking amount as well as a balanced and vitamin rich nutrition. No nicotine and restriction of alcohol consumption help prevent wrinkling. Getting enough sleep and Stress reduction contributes to a youthful appearance of the skin. Use skin care too moisturizing and moisturizing creams; let us advise you, as there are many different creams for a wide variety of skin types!

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Figure skin lesions

Figure skin changes: primary lesions (A) and secondary lesions (B)

Skin changes
A - Primary lesions
(Due to a skin disease

  1. Macula (spot)
  2. Papula
    (Papule, nodule) <0.5 cm
    Nodus (like papula) 0.5 - 1 cm
  3. Urtica (wheal)
  4. Vesicle
  5. Bulla (bladder)
  6. Pustula (pustule)
    B - Secondary lesions
    (From A or through damage
    of the skin)
  7. Squama (scale)
  8. Crusta (crust)
  9. Cicatrix (scar)
  10. Rhagade (cracks, fissure-shaped cracks)
  11. Erosion
  12. Excoratio (defect down to the dermis)
  13. Ulcer (swelling)
  14. Atrophy (tissue atrophy)

You can find an overview of all Dr-Gumpert images at: medical illustrations

Further information

Further information on related topics can also be found at:

  • skin
  • Skin color
  • Dander
  • Skin changes
  • Skin changes on the face
  • Skin aging
  • Skin folds
  • Main article rosacea
  • Rosacea cure
  • Neurodermatitis
  • Psoriasis vulagaris
  • Remove pigment spots
  • Xeroderma pigmentosum
  • Drug: Dermatope
  • Dellar warts
  • Age spots
  • Pityriasis versicolor
  • Lichen planus
  • Wrinkle treatment with autologous fat
  • Wrinkle treatment with hyaluronic acid
  • Ultrasound wrinkle treatment
  • Wrinkle injection

A list of all the topics on dermatology that we have already published can be found at:

  • Dermatology A-Z

  • Anatomy-Lexicon 
  • Learning Problems-The- 
  • Internal Medicine 
  • Neurology-Online 
  • Ophthalmology 
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