"Seventh Age Itch”: Preventing and Managing Dry Skin in Older People

As skin ages, increased trans epidermal water loss leads to dry skin (xerosis) and reduced barrier function. Dry skin is often itchy and prone to dermatitis. Repeated scratching can lead to chronic wounds and infections, particularly on the lower legs and especially if treatment is delayed.  Older patients should be asked regularly about skin symptoms and periodically examined for signs of poor skin health.