Aging in elderly: chronological versus photoaging

Priya Cinna Durai, Devinder Mohan Thappa, Rashmi Kumari, Munisamy Malathi
Indian Journal of Dermatology 2012, 57 (5): 343-52

BACKGROUND: Skin is a window to aging changes, a biological reality. There is a dearth of studies regarding the various chronological (intrinsic) aging and photoaging (extrinsic) changes seen in Asians. This study was undertaken to detect the clinical pattern of aging skin changes and dermatoses seen in the elderly.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: This was a descriptive study conducted on 500 consecutive elderly individuals attending the Dermatology out-patient department. The severity of photoaging was graded using Glogau scale.

RESULTS: Most of the population had skin type IV and V. Majority (415, 83%) of our cases had chronological aging without photoaging and the remaining 85 (17%) individuals had photoaging along with chronological aging. The common skin changes due to chronological aging were thin skin, fine wrinkles, xerosis, and loss of elasticity. Photoaging changes such as dyspigmentation, freckles, thick skin, deep wrinkles, melasma, citrine skin, senile purpura, pseudostellate scar, acrokeratoelastoidosis marginalis, and lentigines were less frequent in our study. Smoking and prolonged sun exposure was the risk factors aggravating photoaging. The most common dermatosis was pruritus in 248 (49.6%) individuals, of which 149 (29.8%) had pruritus associated with xerosis. Contact dermatitis was more common in males. Fungal infections were frequently seen in females. Seborrhoeic keratosis (253, 50.6%) was the most common benign neoplasm more commonly seen in males. Cutaneous malignancies were less common in our study population.

CONCLUSION: Photoaging changes were less common than chronological aging changes in skin type IV. Chronological changes were more frequent in females than males, while photoaging was more frequent in males.

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