Skin Disorders in Older Adults: Dermatoses Related to Scratching, Rubbing, and Impaired Epidermal Integrity, Part 1
February 16, 2010
Physical changes that occur in aging skin (eg, dryness and thinning) can result in pruritus and cause patients to rub, scratch, and pick at their skin. These activities produce various dermatoses and reactive changes in the skin, such as postinflammatory pigmentary alteration. Lichen simplex chronicus (LSC) develops as a physiological cutaneous response to repetitive scratching or rubbing. First-line treatment consists of topical corticosteroids and application of ice to reduce the sensation of itching. Like LSC, prurigo nodularis results from rubbing and scratching the skin. Treatment is similar; however, intralesional corticosteroids and UV therapy play more of a role because prurigo nodularis is more intensely pruritic than LSC.