Thin skin can be dangerous, in that it tears, bruises and cuts easily. It does not usually indicate a serious underlying problem but a trip to the doctors could help ease your mind and find you the right solution you need. There could be a few reasons for damaged thin skin, but thankfully there are also treatments.
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Your skin is your body’s largest organ, averaging 8 lbs. It is made up of three layers which help to waterproof, insulate and guard the body against extreme temperatures, sunlight and chemicals, according to the National Geographic website. The innermost layer of your skin is the subcutis, which is the insulating layer that acts as a cushion for your insides. The middle layer of skin is called the dermis, which gives your skin its strength and elasticity. The outer layer of skin is called the epidermis, which consists of mainly the protein keratin.
Thin skin damages easily. Aging is a major cause of thin skin. As you get older, your skin becomes thinner, paler and translucent, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Other causes of thin skin include the sun, genetics, medical conditions or side effects of medication. Too much sun breaks down the collagen in the skin and over time, your skin loses elasticity. Oral or topical corticosteroids can weaken your skin, making it vulnerable to thinning and damage. A medical condition, dermatologists call actinic purpura, solar purpura or Bateman’s purpura, is bruising on the back of the hands and arms.
Due to aging, thin skin loses its ability to retain moisture and changes in the connective tissues reduce your skin’s elasticity and strength. Underneath your skin, the blood vessels become more visible and fragile which contributes to your thin skin damaging more easily. Actinic purpura is mostly seen in older adults due to years of sun exposure and differs from normal bruises in that it does not hurt, the bruising lasts longer and wasn’t caused by much of a bump, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Blood thinners, aspirin, alcohol or steroids can make the condition worse.
There are certainly no treatments for aging but there are ways to help prevent thin skin as well as avoiding the risk factors that contribute to aging. Sun exposure causes the most skin changes and damage, so using sun block, wearing protective clothing and keeping out of the sun will go a long way in preventing thinning skin and damage. A good moisturizing lotion can help keep your skin from drying out, becoming thin and tearing. Treating actinic purpura can include a daily application of alpha-hydroxy acid cream or Retin-A prescription cream to help increase the thickness of your skin, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Aesthetically, there are cosmetics that can be used to camouflage the bruising.
Dehydration increases the risk of skin injury and nutritional deficiencies can cause skin lesions, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center website. Eating a good diet with adequate nutrients can help keep your skin healthy. Drinking plenty of water will also keep your skin well hydrated.