UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Geriatrics

Title: elderly and skin infections

Keywords: infection, cellulitis, geriatric, elderly (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/11/2010 by Amal Mattu, MD (Updated: 7/18/2024)
Click here to contact Amal Mattu, MD

Elderly patients are at higher risk for skin infections for numerous reasons:
1. Blunted immune system response of skin to infections.
2. Slower wound repair after 3rd decade.
3. More frequent exposure to infections, especially drug resistant infections, especially if the patient is frequently hospitalized or in nursing homes.
4. Frequent portals of entry for skin infections: indwelling tubes and lines, leg ulcers, fissures and maceration on feet and between toes.

A key takeaway point is to always check the skin thoroughly of your elderly patients when searching for infections, especially the feet and toes!