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Generalized, local dry skin common among middle-aged adults, seniors

24 Sep 2019

Generalized (GDS) and localized (LDS) dry skin is prevalent among middle-aged and elderly adults, a recent study has found.

The study included 5,547 participants (mean age, 70 years; 57 percent female), of whom 60 percent had dry skin. A further 20 percent of those with dry skin were severely affected and were ascertained to have GDS; the remaining had LDS.

Multivariate logistic regression analysis found that age was significantly correlated with the risk of both GDS (odds ratio [OR], 1.04, 95 percent CI, 1.03–1.05; p<0.01) and LDS (OR, 1.009, 1.003–1.016; p<0.01), as was the female sex (GDS: OR, 1.49, 1.16–1.93; LDS: OR, 1.29, 1.10–1.52; p<0.01 for both). In comparison, smoking increased the risk only of GDS (OR, 1.27, 1.02–1.57; p=0.03).

Body mass index, on the other hand, was inversely associated with GDS (OR, 0.96, 0.94–0.98) and LDS (OR, 0.98, 0.97–0.99; p<0.01 for both) risks. Daily cream use shared a similar relationship with LDS risk (OR, 0.77, 0.65–0.92; p<0.01), and the same was true between self-perceived health and the likelihood of GDS (OR, 0.993, 0.987–0.999; p=0.02).

In terms of comorbidities, eczema was associated with an increased risk of both GDS (OR, 7.04, 5.92–8.37) and LDS (OR, 2.44, 1.85–3.25; p<0.01 for both). Chemotherapy had the same effect (GDS: OR, 1.69, 0.97–2.95; p=0.07; LDS: OR, 1.56, 1.05–2.32; p=0.03).

Other pertinent risk factors included having itchy skin condition, seborrheic dermatitis and diabetes, as well as taking statins and diuretics.

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