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February 1976

Skin Diseases in the Elderly

Arch Dermatol. 1976;112(2):265. doi:10.1001/archderm.1976.01630260063022

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Contrary to the promise of the title, this text is essentially a brief onceover of clinical dermatology in general—there are some 300 clinical entities discussed. Many discussions— familial angioedema, molluscum contagiosum, cutaneous leishmaniasis, sarcoidosis—bear no particular relevance to skin disease as it affects the elderly. Other subjects of particular pertinence to the elderly patient, such as actinic degeneration of the skin, precarcinomatous conditions, bullous pemphigoid, Kaposi sarcoma, psychological factors in skin disease, and mouth lesions due to dentures, deserve more exposition than they are accorded. The chapters on ulcers, itching, eczema, psoriasis, and systemic effects of skin disease are interesting, but contain little beyond the discussions available in standard dermatology reference texts. The author does suggest 200 mg of oral zinc sulfate three times daily to reduce the healing time of indolent leg ulcers. Such personal prescriptions and observations quicken the spirit of any text, but too few are included

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