The identification of appropriate skin tear prevention guidelines for the elderly requires clinicians to focus on local risk factors such as structural alterations of the epidermis and dermis related to skin tears. The aim of this cross-sectional study is to explore the prevalence of skin tears and to explore skin properties related to skin tears in elderly Japanese patients at a long-term medical facility. After doing the prevalence study, 18 participants with skin tears and 18 without were recruited and an evaluation of their skin properties using 20-MHz ultrasonography, skin blotting and also Corneometer CM-825, Skin-pH-meterPH905, VapoMeter, Moisture Meter-D and CutometerMPA580 was undertaken. A total of 410 patients were examined, the median age was 87years and 73·2% were women. The prevalence of skin tears was 3·9%, and 50% of skin tears occurred on the dorsal forearm. The changes in skin properties associated with skin tears included increased low-echogenic pixels (LEP) by 20-MHz ultrasonography, decreased type IV collagen and matrix metalloproteinase-2, and increased tumour necrosis factor-α by skin blotting. In conclusion, this study suggests that increased dermal LEP, including solar elastosis, may represent a risk factor for skin tears; this indicates that skin tear risk factors might not only represent chronological ageing but also photoageing.
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