Different ages of people tend to have different types of skin conditions. We see acne most often in the teen years, pruritic urticarial papules in pregnant women and wrinkles in those of us over 30 years old. But as we move from retirement age into our 2nd act, are there skin conditions that we should watch especially carefully for?

Age related changes in the skin


Of course, as we age, we lose elasticity, thanks in large part to ultraviolet light from the sun. Smoking, gravity and genetics also have a large impact on how many wrinkles we get and at what age.

Thin skin or Bruising

When we’re young, we have a fatty layer that protects us, especially from bruises. But the older we get, we lose a great deal of this protection. Veins and arteries might become more visible and we may bruise more easily. Bruising can also be due to medications that we take, so ask your doctor if you have any concerns.


Again, when we’re young, we have a plumpness to our skin and the older we get, we lose that. Combined with gravity, a lifetime of sun exposure or even weight loss and we encounter sagging. While commercials for “quick-fixes” like creams or surgeries abound, speak with your doctor before taking steps to manage the normal effects of aging.

4 Skin conditions to watch for


Psoriasis is a condition that can become more common as we age. There are numerous types of psoriasis that occur in our later years, but plaque psoriasis is the most common – it affects 80%-90% of us who have psoriasis. Symptoms include thick, patchy scales, often of different size. Treatments can include medication, ointments and phototherapy.

Skin Cancer

There are 3 types of cancer that can occur on the skin. Basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanomas. The first two grow quite slowly and rarely spread to other parts of the body.

Melanomas are rare, but can be deadly if not diagnosed or treated in a timely fashion. Because skin cancer doesn’t usually “hurt”, you’ll want to watch for changes to freckles, moles or skin tags. Look not only for size changes, but color and border changes as well.

See you family doctor or dermatologist if you have any types of discoloration on the skin that is new, recent or has changed lately.

Bed Sores

Bed sores don’t only happen to older people, but they are more common due to some age-related medical conditions. Bed sores are lesions or small ulcers that are caused by extended time laying or sitting down in the same position.

Also called pressure ulcers, they can range from light to sever, with a sore going all the way down to the tendons, muscles or bones. Prevention of bed sores is the most critical and can be as simple as changing positions or being moved every 2 hours.


Shingles is a common condition that affects more people over the age of 50 than any other age. Caused by a simple virus (the same one that causes chickenpox), it can have serious repercussions in adults. Anyone over the age of 50 is recommended to get the shingles vaccine. The symptoms can include:

  • Burning or shooting pain
  • Blisters on the skin, possibly fluid-filled
  • Numbness or tingling skin
  • Cold or flu symptoms in addition to the above

If you experience these or have question about Shingles, speak with your health care provider.

Wrap Up

Skin conditions, age related or not, should always be discussed with your family doctor or dermatologist.

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