Global Coalition on Aging  

Press Release 12/04/14

Global Cross-Sector Leaders Unite, Commit to “Life Course of Healthy Skin Global Partnership”

Consensus Statement of the 2014 Manchester Summit on Active Ageing and Healthy Skin Calls for Action and Innovation in Skin Health as a Path to Wellness, Social Value and Economic Growth

NEW YORK AND LONDON (4 December 2014) – Today the International League of Dermatological Societies (ILDS) and Global Coalition on Aging (GCOA) announced the “Life Course of Healthy Skin Global Partnership,” declared by way of a consensus statement of the delegates of the 2014 Manchester Summit. 

“Skin is our first line of defence, but as we age, it becomes less elastic, dryer and thinner and therefore less protective,” said Prof. Christopher Griffiths, MD, Foundation Professor of Dermatology at The University of Manchester and Board Member of the ILDS.  “For too long, skin health has been neglected on the global ageing agenda.  Our collective vision is one in which a life course approach to skin health leads to wellness, improved quality of life and enhanced social value.”

One in every three cancers diagnosed is skin cancer.  One in two people over the age of 65 suffers from intense dryness of the skin, which can lead to infection and wounds.  Dermatological side effects occur in up to 80 percent of patients receiving cancer treatments.  In addition to the physical effects and medical costs, these conditions have psychological effects and impact quality of life. 

As a result of the 2014 “Manchester Summit: A Life Course of Active Ageing and Healthy Skin,” experts in ageing and dermatology developed a consensus statement outlining their commitment to furthering global leadership in skin health, particularly in skin ageing, as there will be 1 billion people over 60 globally by 2020.

“As lifespans increase and birthrates decrease, conditions that are widely associated with growing older, including the deterioration of our skin, become more prevalent,” said Michael Hodin, PhD, Executive Director of the Global Coalition on Aging. “Twenty-first century demographics demand a new approach and calls for a new diverse group of partners to focus on keeping us healthy and active at each stage of life and as a result drive efficiencies in healthcare costs and contribute to a more fiscally sustainable economy.”

The commitment of the Life Course of Healthy Skin Global Partnership began during the first-ever gathering of academics, global thought leaders and cross-sector business stakeholders on the topic of healthy skin and active aging in Manchester, England in June 2014.  Manchester, a city known as a center of the Industrial Revolution, is now Europe’s premier Age-friendly City and at the forefront of this 21st-century demographic revolution. 

Convening at the historic Manchester Town Hall, this group of global ageing and dermatology experts spent two days identifying areas for collaboration to build awareness through targeted communications as well as strategies and practical applications to improve skin health across the life course.  Action is required, from prevention of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers to proper skin hydration to avoid hospital admissions and social withdrawal.  Click here for a full recap of the 2014 Manchester Summit.

The consensus statement calls for analysis of the economic and fiscal impact of skin ageing if no action is taken, development of a research agenda, establishment of a network of global Centres of Excellence on skin health, and collaboration and partnership among the dermatology and ageing communities across regions globally. This call-to-action will promote the importance of skin health, with the goal of making skin health a top priority on the global ageing agenda.  Click here to view the full consensus statement.

Supporting organizations represented at the Manchester Summit include Age-Friendly Manchester, BusinessLab, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, China Medical University, EASYCare, Galderma, The Gerontological Society of America, Global Coalition on Aging, Health Consumer Powerhouse, the International League of Dermatological Societies, International Foundation for Dermatology, International Council on Active Aging, and The University of Manchester Centre for Dermatology Research and The University of Manchester Institute for Collaborative Research on Ageing (MICRA).  

“The Manchester Summit was the first bold step to align medical, business, government, NGO and academic communities to create and implement local and global strategies to encourage healthy skin ageing,” said Humberto C. Antunes, President and CEO of Galderma and the Summit’s supporting partner. “We encourage other companies and organisations to join us in our commitment to pursuing this innovative agenda and welcome the opportunity for diverse interdisciplinary partnerships and dialogues.”

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