Skin and soft tissue infections are an important cause of morbidity and mortality in older adults. Decreased immunity, changes in skin anatomy, and comorbidities contribute to an increased susceptibility to infections. Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus is an increasingly common problem in both the community as well as hospitals. Clinical features and management of some common skin infections encountered in this population are reviewed here. Local microbiological guidelines and drug susceptibilities should be taken into account in the treatment.
Key words: bacterial skin infections, cellulitis, MRSA, fungal infection, scabies.
Lona Mody, MD, University of Michigan Medical School, Division of Geriatric Medicine; Geriatric Research Education and Clinical Center, Ann Arbor VA Healthcare System, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.
Skin and soft tissue infections are frequent in older adults residing in both community and nursing homes. Common skin and soft tissue infections include bacterial infections such as cellulitis, erysipelas and necrotizing fasciitis, chronic wound infections, fungal infections such as intertrigo and viral infections like herpes zoster. Early diagnosis is the key to optimal management. Most of these infections can be treated on an outpatient basis and in nursing homes; however, serious infections may require hospitalization especially in frail older adults with a high comorbidity load. This review focuses on clinical manifestations and treatment options for common skin and soft tissue infections in older adults.
Key words: skin infections, cellulitis, necrotizing fasciitis, pressure ulcer, viral infection.
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