Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a multifactorial and complex disease, characterized by an impaired skin barrier function and abnormal immune response. Itch and recurrent infection are major drivers of the poor quality of life of affected patients. Many elderly patients present with pruritus and xerosis to dermatology, allergy, and primary care clinics, and there is a lack of information available to clinicians regarding the proper diagnosis and management of these patients.
Although the elderly are described as having a distinct presentation of AD and important co‐morbidities, most investigations and clinical care guidelines pertaining to AD do not include patients aged 60 years and older as a separate group from younger adults. Interestingly, many age‐related changes overlap with key hallmarks observed in AD, such as reduced skin barrier function and skewed type II helper T cell inflammation as well as increased Staphylococcus aureus infection.
This review compiles current knowledge regarding the pathophysiology, diagnosis, and management of AD in the elderly population and identifies areas of insufficient information to be explored in future investigations.