Portail Guide

8. What are the specific features of wound healing in the elderly?

Faced with an ageing population, practitioners are increasingly confronted with issue of wound healingin elderly patients.

With age, local inflammatory response is diminished, proliferation is impaired by slow keratinocyte turnover, and tissue remodelling is characterised by a lack of metalloproteinase inhibition and thus excess of collagen destruction [5]. All these changes have direct consequences on the healing process, making it slower and of poorer quality than in younger subjects.

Apart from these negative aspects, wound healing in the elderly offers certain advantages. Due to lower inflammatory reactions, pathological healing such as hypertrophic and/or keloid scars are rarely observed. In addition, in the case of skin removal, particularly in cancer cases involving a significant loss of substance at times, skin laxity generally allows easy suturing, without tension, producing satisfactory aesthetic results.

Finally, the comorbidities frequent in this population, especially malnutrition, venous and arterial insufficiency, but also multiple medications are all elements that often make healing complexand difficult.


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