The new statement was released at the 21st World Congress of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics, the leading global gathering of experts in aging
SAN FRANCISCO (July 24, 2017) – In a groundbreaking new consensus statement, three leading global organizations in dermatology and aging together affirmed the critical importance of healthy skin to achieving healthy and active aging. The Consensus Statement on a Life Course of Healthy Skin was co-signed by the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS), the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics (IAGG), and the Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) and released today at the 21st IAGG World Congress, in San Francisco, the largest gathering of aging experts in the world.
“Many of us in Gerontology and Geriatrics have understood that skin changes remarkably with advancing age but have underestimated the unique value of skin as a model of the interaction of normal senescence and lifestyle factors to yield ‘accelerated aging,’” said Dr. John Rowe, Julius B. Richmond Professor of Health Policy and Aging, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia, and incoming Chairman of IAGG. “At the same time, we have underestimated the tremendous opportunity for prevention and amelioration of age and lifestyle-related changes in skin, our largest organ.”
The Consensus Statement calls attention to 21st century demographic change and the accompanying shift in our understanding of health, which must focus not just on the absence of disease or treating illness, per se, but on the maintenance of functional ability. Functional ability, which the World Health Organization (WHO) defines as our ability to be and to do what we have reason to value, is the centerpiece of the WHO Ageing and Health Strategy.
“We are delighted to be aligning with IAGG and ILDS,” said Michael Hodin, PhD, CEO of GCOA. “With this Consensus Statement, we are able to focus on the opportunities to bend the curve on skin aging, which is essential as we experience 21st century longevity.”
The three organizations pledged to partner with the WHO and national public health authorities to advance a life course of healthy skin. The organizations also committed to partner across disciplines and regions to advance the Seven Principles of Healthy Skin. Released earlier this year by the American Skin Association, the Principles are a set of easy-to-follow guidelines to ensure skin wellness across the life course.
“With increasing longevity, maintaining skin wellness throughout our lives becomes more important,” said Prof. Harvey Lui, President of the ILDS and himself a global expert in dermatology. “At the ILDS, we have identified and committed to a life course of healthy skin as one of our Grand Challenges in Global Skin Health, and therefore, it is a natural step to partner with IAGG and GCOA on this Consensus Statement. Along with the expectation that our children and grandchildren will likely live longer lives, achieving, and maintaining healthy skin over a lifetime will be even more essential in the years to come for reducing suffering due to age-related changes and disorders affecting the skin.”
About the International League of Dermatological Societies
The International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) is a unique non-governmental organisation which promotes the global advancement of dermatological care, education, and science. Bringing together over 160 member societies from more than 80 countries worldwide, the ILDS is collectively able to draw on the expertise of more than 100,000 dermatology specialists around the world. Through this network, the ILDS aims to recognize and harmonize the rich spectrum of approaches to skin health and disease that exist throughout the world. For more information, visit www.ilds.org.
About the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics
The mission of the International Association of Gerontology and Geriatrics is to promote the highest levels of achievement in gerontological research and training worldwide, and to interact with other international, inter-governmental, and non-governmental organizations in the promotion of gerontological interests globally and on behalf of its member associations. The Association pursues these activities with a view of enhancing the highest quality of life and well being of all people as they experience ageing at individual and societal levels. IAGG has 73 member organizations in over 65 countries worldwide with a combined membership of over 45,100 professionals.