Crepey skin can best be described as the loose, paper-thin skin that appears on very old people. Due to aging, the skin becomes thin, loose and flaccid with notable sagginess. The name crepey skin is as a result of the comparison of the thin skin to crepe paper. This condition is usually as a result of thinning of the epidermis and dermis.
According to Macrene Alexiades, a New York dermatologist, it is currently one of the most difficult skin aging signs to prevent since it not only has multiple causes but it also appears in multiple parts of the body. This lack of skin firmness is one of the major and most common signs of aging.
Skin Aging and Crepiness
As you approach your mid-40s, the thinning of your skin accelerates. It may not be an overnight change but week after week, month after month, you will start to observe variances in the texture of your skin. According to dermatologists, crepey skin usually appears as a result of various causes. These include:
• A loss of collagen andelastin
• Prolonged exposure to sun
• Chronic use of steroids
• Decrease in moisture due to aging.
Crepey skin becomes more noticeable if there is notable fat loss in the area whether due to aging or just natural weight loss. This condition can at times tend to be more prevalent in women since a decrease in female hormones results in dry skin which causes crepiness on the thighs and arms. Therefore, hormonal replacement therapy may be a solution for treatment in such a case.
Crepey Skin Appearance
Crepey skin is unlike most skin aging types. First, it starts to appear as an increase in skin markings. This tend to look like small dots around the hair follicle which begin to merge into diamond shaped or linear marks which look like they connect the dots together. However, with time, these subtle pores and creases become more exaggerated with the continued breakdown of collagen and elastin. From that point, the skin folds increase and so does the skin thinning.
Therefore, crepey skin is mainly characterized by lack of skin thickness.
Crepey Skin Susceptibility
Almost everyone is susceptible to crepey skin. However, some skin types and tones are more likely to face this more than others. People with less melanin or those prone to sun damage are bound to see crepey skin signs faster. This includes people with fair- and lighter-toned skin who are exposed to sun for prolonged periods.
Specific ethnicities like Asians, Latinas and African Americans may experience reduced effects of crepiness due to the fact that their skin tends to be inherently thicker. Also women tend to be more prone to crepey skin due to hormonal issues as explained above.
Crepey skin is an unavoidable bit of aging, however with the proper care, its signs and effects can be greatly minimized.