SINGAPORE: The confluence of an aging population and relentless hot weather is giving rise to a concerning surge in skin problems among the elderly in Singapore, according to experts.

Recent statistics from the National Skin Center have revealed a notable uptick in cases of dermatitis, coupled with a concerning increase in instances of skin cancer.

Specialists have reported a significant spike of approximately 20% in the number of elderly patients seeking treatment for various skin ailments.

According to experts at the National Skin Center, prevalent skin issues among older individuals include dermatitis, skin bacterial or viral infections, among others.

These conditions are often attributed to the compromised immune systems of the elderly, coupled with prolonged exposure to environmental factors.

A senior consultant at the National Skin Center, highlighted the compounding factors contributing to these skin problems and told 8World:

“For example, if they like to take hot showers, and it is humid and hot recently, they are more likely to sweat. If they do not change their clothes in time, the sweat will lead to fungal or bacterial infections.”

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He emphasized the importance of early intervention, stating that untreated skin conditions can escalate, potentially leading to systemic infections.

The use of harsh soaps exacerbates dermatitis, worsening inflammation and discomfort.

Doctors recommend adopting a regimen of gentle cleansing followed by moisturization to mitigate dryness and inflammation, particularly during hot and humid weather.

Prompt medical attention is advised for elderly individuals experiencing symptoms such as skin redness and swelling, particularly in uncovered areas like the arms and legs.

Left untreated, localized dermatitis can escalate, causing widespread itching and inflammation throughout the body.

Severe inflammation compromises the skin’s protective functions, leaving patients vulnerable to temperature fluctuations and bacterial infections.

Treatment strategies vary depending on the severity of the condition.

Mild cases may necessitate topical treatments such as moisturizers or anti-inflammatory ointments, while more severe instances may require oral medications or immunosuppressants.

Patients with diabetes are particularly vulnerable, as compromised immune function and high blood sugar levels predispose them to skin dryness and infections, emphasizing the need for vigilant monitoring and early intervention.

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Data from the National Skin Center highlights the heightened risk among individuals aged 65 and above, with dermatitis emerging as a common affliction.

Symptoms include itching, redness, and the formation of ulcers, underscoring the need for targeted interventions.

Dermatologists stress the importance of holistic care, advising elderly individuals to avoid excessive scratching, opt for gentle skincare products, and minimize sun exposure.

Chronic diseases further exacerbate skin issues, with conditions such as eczema and psoriasis intensifying in dry, humid environments.­

As Singapore grapples with an ageing demographic and persistent heat, addressing the burgeoning skin health crisis among the elderly demands comprehensive strategies aimed at prevention, early detection, and tailored interventions to safeguard the well-being of the nation’s seniors.