Monday, June 17, 2024 | 16:42 WIB

Pruritus and xerosis Recognizing aging-related skin problems

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dr. Yustin Sumito, Sp.KK
dr. Yustin Sumito, Sp.KK (Source: Special)

“Initial treatment include soak and-smear (soak the skin in water for 10-20 minutes, then apply lotion or ointment) and wet wraps (wet rags or gauze moistened with specific lotions or ointment encasing around the itching part, and leaving it for some time). However, we need to remember that pruritus treatment must be thorough, because there is always a high risk of recurrence. If it continues for a prolonged period without healing, please contact a doctor. The aging process in the elderly strongly affects the type of medicine that will be prescribed to mitigate pruritus,” dr. Yustin said. 

Cold Water Baths 

At the same event, fellow dermato-venereology specialist dr. Amelia Soebyanto, Sp.DV, declared that the elderly also run a higher risk of xerosis or drying out of the skin: the outermost layer of the skin dries from lower water and fat content, causing the skin to become rough, scaly, or cracked. Extremely dry skin may even bleed from the cracks, allowing germs and bacteria to enter the body and trigger infection, rashes or both. 

Read: BPOM orders the withdrawal of 69 medicinal syrups with excessive amount of EG

“A person’s environment and lifestyle strongly affect the health of their skin, specifically whether it dries out or not. Such factors include prolonged exposure to the sun, prolonged use of air conditioning, a change of season or atmospheric humidity, a habit of taking extra-long baths, the use of irritant soaps and insufficient ingestion of liquids. Dry skin is the direct cause of 63.78% of pruritus cases. Doctors will usually prescribe some sort of lotion or ointment for you. However, you need to complement this by selecting the proper soap for your skin type, avoid taking lengthy baths, and use ordinary water, not hot water every time,” she said. 

Finally, both dr. Yustin and dr. Amelia emphasized the importance of sufficient hydration and nutrition to maintain healthy skin. (est)

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