Dermatoporosis: a chronic cutaneous insufficiency/fragility syndrome. Clinicopathological features, mechanisms, prevention and potential treatments

Gürkan Kaya, Jean-Hilaire Saurat
Dermatology: International Journal for Clinical and Investigative Dermatology 2007, 215 (4): 284-94

BACKGROUND: Skin aging has long been considered only as a cosmetic problem. With the increase in lifespan, we are now more often experiencing a further dimension of skin aging, which is no longer only cosmetic, but also functional, in the sense that the skin has lost its protective mechanical function. Dermatoporosis is the name proposed to capture, in a holistic approach, all the aspects of this chronic cutaneous insufficiency/fragility syndrome.

OBSERVATIONS: In this paper, we review the clinical aspects of dermatoporosis, its histological features and the current understanding of its etiological factors. The clinical manifestations of dermatoporosis comprise (i) morphological markers of fragility--rather trivial--such as senile purpura, stellate pseudoscars and skin atrophy, and (ii) functional expression of skin fragility resulting from minor traumas such as frequent skin laceration, delayed wound healing, nonhealing atrophic ulcers and subcutaneous bleeding with the formation of dissecting hematomas leading to large zones of necrosis. Dissecting hematomas bear significant morbidity needing hospitalization and urgent surgical procedures. Molecular mechanisms implying hyaluronate-CD44 pathways in the control and maintenance of epithelial growth and the viscoelastic properties of the extracellular matrix offer new opportunities for preventive intervention.

CONCLUSION: We propose to group the different manifestations and implications of this syndrome under the umbrella term of 'dermatoporosis', because we think it will help to capture the understanding of health professionals that, as osteoporosis, 'dermatoporosis' should be prevented and treated to avoid complications. Dermatologists should be aware of this emerging syndrome and function as key players in prevention and therapy. Randomized clinical trials should demonstrate which intervention may best prevent and/or reverse dermatoporosis.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Related Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"