Skin Health Identified as Critical Component of Active and Healthy Ageing as Global Experts Gather for 2014 Manchester Summit

First Summit on Active Ageing and Healthy Skin Convenes in Manchester, Europe’s Premier Age-friendly City

MANCHESTER, UK (23 June 2014) – For the first time, ageing and dermatology experts and global thought leaders have come together to promote skin health as a critical component of active and healthy ageing. There is an opportunity to educate the global public health community of the positive impact good skin health across the life course has on individuals, families, and health systems, according to more than 20 medical, academic, non-profit, government, and business leaders participating in today’s “Manchester Summit: A Life Course of Active Ageing and Healthy Skin.”

The Summit is hosted by Manchester City Council, The University of Manchester, International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS), and Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA), and supported by Galderma.

“Our skin is the first line of defence against illness and the hazards of the environment,” said Professor Chris Griffiths, Foundation Professor of Dermatology at The University of Manchester, and Board Member of the International League of Dermatological Societies. “As we age, skin becomes frailer, making it weaker, dryer, thinner, and more susceptible to irritation, infection, and with poor wound healing.  This vulnerability has implications on individuals, communities, and health systems.”

According to UN calculations, there will be 1 billion people 60 years and older on earth by 2020. Shortly thereafter, there will be more people in this category than children under 14. This shift raises concerns for the global health community as the prevalence of skin diseases will rise and have implications for social and economic policy.

“As lifespans increase and birthrates decrease, conditions that are widely associated with growing old, including the deterioration of our skin, become more prevalent,” said Michael W. Hodin, PhD, Executive Director of the Global Coalition on Aging. “We cannot continue to operate within systems created for 20th-century demographics. We need a new approach that focusses on prevention and care across the life course to drive efficiencies in healthcare costs and contribute to a more fiscally sustainable economy.”

As non-communicable diseases rise with age, so too do skin diseases and the risks associated with them like falls and hospital re-admissions. For instance, the symptoms of diabetes can lead to diabetic foot infection, which can lead to poor balance. Likewise, for virtually all cancer patients, targeted therapies, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy result in uncomfortable and painful drug-induced dermatosis.

Further, one in every three cancers diagnosed is skin cancer, and 82 percent of non-melanoma skin cancer cases occur in people over 60. One out of every two people over 65 suffers from xerosis, intense dryness of the skin, which can lead to infection and wounds. In addition to the physical effects and medical costs, these conditions have psychological effects and impact quality of life.

The Manchester Summit is a one-day discussion, which aims to address the link between skin health and active ageing, and foster partnerships and collaboration focussed on research, training and practical applications to ensure healthy skin is a priority for 21st-century active ageing.

“Manchester has long been committed to enabling our older citizens to stay healthy, mobile and active in society through our participation in the World Health Organisation’s Global Network of Age-friendly Cities and Communities,” said Paul McGarry, Senior Strategy Manager of Age-friendly Manchester for Manchester City Council.  “We are proud to be hosting the Summit and to be leading the way for healthy skin as a core component of age-friendly initiatives globally.”

One strategy that will be discussed will be the establishment of a Global Network of Centres of Excellence on Skin Ageing Across the Life Course to align the goals of the ageing and dermatology communities; develop a research agenda to enhance understanding of the science of skin ageing and the resulting physical, mental, and social effects; and analyse the economic and fiscal impact of healthy skin on active and healthy ageing.

“Maintaining healthy skin across the life course must be made a priority on the global heath and ageing agenda,” said Humberto C. Antunes, President and CEO of Galderma, the Summit’s supporting partner. “The Manchester Summit is a bold first step, aligning medical, business, government, NGO and academic communities to create and implement local and global strategies to encourage healthy skin ageing.”

About Manchester City Council

Age-friendly Manchester aims to improve the quality of life for the ageing in the city of Manchester. The team, based in Manchester City Council’s Public Health Unit, was formed in 2003, partly in response to research that demonstrated high levels of social isolation and loneliness amongst the ageing in the borough. Age-friendly Manchester is guided by the Manchester Ageing Strategy, launched in 2009, which sets out a 10 year plan to make Manchester “A Great Place to Grow Older.”

About The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester, a member of the prestigious Russell Group of British universities, is the largest and most popular university in the UK. It has 20 academic schools and hundreds of specialist research groups undertaking pioneering multi-disciplinary teaching and research of worldwide significance. According to the results of the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, The University of Manchester is one of the country’s major research institutions, rated third in the UK in terms of ‘research power’, and has had no fewer than 25 Nobel laureates either work or study there. The University had an annual income of £807 million in 2011/12.

About the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS)

The International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) is a non-governmental organization in official relations with the World Health Organization. ILDS promotes partnerships and cooperation within the dermatology field, and encourages worldwide advancement of dermatological education, care, and sciences.

About the Global Coalition on Aging

The Global Coalition on Aging aims to reshape how global leaders approach and prepare for the 21st century’s profound shift in population aging. Through research, public policy analysis, advocacy, and strategic communications, GCOA is advancing innovative solutions and working to ensure global aging is a path for fiscally sustainable economic growth, social value creation and wealth enhancement.

About Galderma

Galderma is a global dermatology company committed to delivering innovative medical solutions to meet the needs of people throughout their lifetime while serving healthcare professionals around the world. Galderma has 34 wholly-owned affiliates and a worldwide network of distributors, approximately 5,000 employees and an extensive product portfolio available in 80 countries. With approximately 19% of revenues invested each year to discover and develop new dermatology solutions and products and access innovative technologies, the dermatology company is one of the world’s leading investors in dermatology R&D.

Latest Developments

We keep our members and partners in touch with the most recent updates and opinions in the worldwide dialogue on population longevity and related issues.

A Bipartisan Bill Could Prevent The Next Pandemic

In Washington, Republicans and Democrats are typically at loggerheads when it comes to healthcare policy. Just consider the recent Inflation Reduction Act, which made extensive changes to Medicare and also extended Affordable Care Act subsidies. Every single congressional Democrat voted for the legislation, while every single member of the GOP voted against it. But occasionally, a bill is such an obviously good idea, and so desperately needed, that it commands significant bipartisan support. The PASTEUR Act, co-sponsored by 31 Democrats and 31 Republicans in the House and two members of each party in the Senate, is just such a bill.

Korea Must Act Now to Combat Growing AMR Threat

Public officials are overlooking one of the gravest long-term threats to the Korean people, the health system, and economy: antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Some pathogens ― bacteria, fungi, parasites, and viruses ― have evolved strains that resist the antimicrobial medications we currently have available to fight them. Health care professionals often must watch helplessly as patients succumb to infections that antibiotics could once have easily beaten. They know that new antimicrobials, including and especially antibiotics, could easily gain the victory ― but they have none at their disposal.

Policy Statement on the Impact of Price Negotiations on Innovation, Healthy Aging and Equity

As the CEO of the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and a newly formed cross-sector Alliance for Health Innovation, we write to express our deep concern with the current legislation that allows for price “negotiations” in Medicare – a thinly veiled signal for America’s plunge into price controls that will have a devastating and adverse impact on biopharmaceutical innovation and our nations’ ability to support healthy aging. 

Ignoring the ‘Silver Economy’ May Be Getting Costly for Brands

In an ad for Airbnb that premiered earlier this year, a couple checks into a cozy Spanish villa. To the tune of Jay-Z's cover of "Me and My Girlfriend," the ad shows the pair settling into their rental and setting their collective dial to chill. They play ping-pong, sip some wine, and get ready for a night on the town. They're also in their 80s, celebrating their 57th wedding anniversary. In no way does the ad characterize the couple as elderly or portray them as needing special aid or services — they are just active people who happen to be old. It's a rare example of ads featuring a realistic depiction of aging.

Health Equity Promise and That Innovation Thing

President Biden has pledged his administration to defeat cancer, Alzheimer’s, and other diseases that target America’s aging population. To achieve these lofty goals, bold words must be backed up by bold actions.

Roundtable Report Highlights Importance of Immunizing Canada’s Caregivers Against Influenza, Identifying Challenges and Opportunities to Protect This Critical Group

The Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) today released a report summarizing key insights from an expert roundtable on vaccinating Canada’s caregivers against influenza. The roundtable, held virtually, brought together leading Canadian health policy experts, family caregivers, patient advocacy groups, aging experts, and other thought leaders to discuss challenges and strategies to reach this critically important yet hard-to-reach group.