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Skin and Soft Tissue Infections in Older Adults

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.