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Br J Nurs. 2014 Jun 26-Jul 9;23(12):S4-8.

Older people and skin: challenging perceptions.


In this article we set out to challenge perceptions about older people and skin. We examine current portrayals of older people and skin, both in the media and in the nursing literature. We describe the ‘normal’ process of skin ageing and highlight the importance of maintaining skin integrity and effective barrier function for health and wellbeing, particularly in older people. One element of maintaining skin integrity is ensuring that personal hygiene and emollient needs are met. Effective skin hygiene and emollient care will reduce the risk of breakdown, with all its burdensome and costly consequences. We therefore offer a summary of the current evidence base for skin-hygiene practice. We make a case for nurses considering skin health from a wider societal and human perspective, and identify opportunities to enhance nursing practice through skin-care advice and health education for all older people.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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