If you can see the bones and veins on your arms or the backs of your hands, you might have thinning skin. When you have thin skin, your skin is fragile and prone to damage. You may notice that it easily breaks or tears, even after the most minor injuries.
What causes thin skin?
There are several factors that affect your skin’s thickness and contribute to thinning skin. These include:
- Aging: Thinning skin becomes more prevalent with age. As we get older, the production of collagen and elastin naturally decreases. Our skin relies on these proteins to remain youthful, plump, and elastic.
- UV exposure: Ultraviolet rays from the sun breaks down the collagen and elastin fibers in our skin. This speeds up the aging process and affects your skin’s healing ability.
- Medications: Long-term use of oral and topical corticosteroids can weaken the skin and blood vessels under the skin, which makes it easier for your skin to tear and bruise. Aspirin, prescription blood thinners, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) also contribute to skin that easily tears or bruises.
- Lifestyle: Many lifestyle factors can speed up skin aging and lead to thinning skin. These include smoking, drinking, a diet high in sugar and low in fruits and vegetables, and not getting enough exercise.
Can thin skin be thickened?
Although you can’t completely reverse the process of thin skin caused by aging, there are treatments available that can promote healthier-looking skin. Most of these treatments improve the appearance of thinning skin by increasing collagen and elastin production and stimulating cell turnover.
Professional treatment options for thin skin
During your consultation at TheDerm, our skin experts can discuss the treatment options available for improving thinning skin. These are the skin improving treatments offered by our skin experts:
- Microneedling: Microneedling is a minimally invasive treatment that encourages collagen and elastin production. Our microneedling treatment uses gold-tipped needles to create small wounds in the skin. As your skin heals, it appears tighter and firmer.
- Injectables and dermal fillers: Dermal fillers can improve the appearance of thin skin by increasing moisture levels and plumping up the skin.
- Laser resurfacing treatments: You can also try a laser resurfacing treatment to stimulate collagen growth and reduce the visible signs of aging and sun damage. Laser resurfacing treatments use high-intensity beams of light to create micro-wounds on the skin, encouraging skin cell turnover and the formation of healthy skin cells.
- Intense pulsed light (IPL): Intense pulsed light is a versatile treatment that can be used on the face, chest, neck, and hands. During an IPL treatment, focused light energy is delivered to the skin. As the light reaches below the surface of the skin, collagen production is stimulated, and your skin appears more youthful.
At-home options for thinning skin
You can also talk with your TheDerm dermatologist about what you can do at home to achieve healthier-looking skin and improve the appearance of thinning skin. These include using topical retinoids and focusing on your diet:
- Retinoids: Retinoids are derived from Vitamin A and can stimulate collagen and elastin production with long-term use. Topical retinoids also promote skin cell turnover and can reduce the appearance of sun damage and lines and wrinkles.
- Diet and nutritional supplements: Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet can improve the appearance of thinning skin. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, fish, lean proteins, and whole grains while also drinking enough water to ensure your skin is hydrated. You can also talk to your doctor about taking specific supplements to improve skin health, such as omega-3 fatty acids, gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), Vitamin C, and collagen peptides.
Preventing thin skin
Following these tips can help you prevent premature aging and reduce age-related thinning of the skin:
- Apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher every day
- Don’t smoke
- Get regular exercise
- Apply moisturizer every day to keep your skin hydrated
How to protect thin skin
These tips can help you protect thin, fragile skin and prevent skin injuries:
- Use a rich moisturizing cream to keep your skin supple
- Stay out of the sun as much as possible
- Wear clothing to protect fragile skin, such as long pants and a long-sleeved shirt
At TheDerm, we offer a number of treatment options that can help you improve the appearance of thinning skin. To determine which treatment options are right for you, schedule your appointment at any of our three locations.