Have you noticed your skin has been thin and fragile at some places in your body? In medical terms, it is known as “crepey skin.” It will look very similar to being wrinkled, but actually, it is not.
You might be wondering if you can treat it and get your glowing skin back. The answer to your concern is yes. This type of skin can be treated.
Nowadays, with the advancement in medical science, many new methods have been invented to help your skin. Therefore, you need not worry about finding ways to revive your skin. We have got you covered!
We have mentioned in detail what crepey skin is, what causes it, and some expert-approved methods that will help improve your skin.
Have a look!
- 1 Know About Crepey Skin
- 2 Causes of Crepey Skin
- 3 Treatment for Crepey Skin
- 4 Expert-Approved Treatment Options
- 5 Over-the-Counter Treatments
- 6 At-home Treatments
- 7 Prescriptions
- 8 Misconceptions about Treating Aging Skin
- 9 Prevention of Crepey Skin
- 10 Final Word
Know About Crepey Skin
Before we read about the causes, treatment, and prevention of crepey skin, we must know what it actually is.
The name crepey skin comes from the resemblance of the skin to crepe paper. Your skin may appear thin, fragile, loose, and will also have some wrinkles.
But, crepey skin is different from wrinkled skin. Wrinkling of skin is related to facial movements, genetics, and damage from the sun. However, skin gets crepy only due to damage from the sun, as the sun breaks down the elastin from the skin.
The skin loses elastin and collagen, which makes it appear crinkled, loose, and saggy.
This type of skin is generally noticed in the parts of the body which have more exposure to the sun. You will mainly be able to notice crepiness on your upper arms, neck, and under the eyes.
While crepey skin is aesthetically unpleasing, it does not have any medical harm to the body. Many treatment options are available for its treatment.
Causes of Crepey Skin
The two main components that help keep your skin tight, supple, and youthful are collagen and elastin. Collagen gives your skin a fuller look and prevents it from sagging, while elastin helps your skin return to its original shape after compressing or stretching. Depletion of elastin, collagen, and other skin proteins leads to crepey skin.
Genetics may play a significant role in elastin and collagen production. Moreover, many environmental factors decrease their production, which increases the risk of developing crepey skin.
Here are some natural/environmental factors that cause crepey skin:
The prevalence of crepey skin increases with age. It is commonly seen in individuals above the age of 40.
With age, the production of collagen and elastin decreases, which accelerates the process of aging.
Exposure to Sun
The most common cause for crepey skin is excessive sun exposure. Exposure to UV light breaks down collagen, which causes an excessive build-up of elastin. This results in the skin looking wrinkled and saggy.
The skin structure, including elastic fibers and collagen, is damaged by prolonged exposure to harmful ultraviolet (UV) rays or tanning beds.
Collagen has some repairing properties and repairs somewhat over time. However, elastic fiber does not have improving properties, and it does not fix with time.
Photodamage is commonly noticed on the neck, face, and forearms. It is seen more on the upper chest in females, and in bald males, it is noticed more on the scalp.
Compared to non-white people, people with fair skin are more susceptible to getting crepey skin, skin damage, wrinkles, and even skin cancer by exposure to UV radiation.
Inadequate hydration is another common cause of crepey skin.
Dryness can also be age-related. With age, the oil production of the skin is decreased. The oil produced by the skin acts as a protective lipid barrier and helps in sealing moisture into the skin.
Another cause of dryness of the skin is hormonal changes. Hormonal changes are not necessarily to be seen only in the elderly; they can be seen in people of any age.
Inadequate skin moisture is another cause that may cause dryness of the skin.
High Sugar Diet
A process called glycation starts when you consume a diet that is high in sugar content. Glycation is the process in which the lipid (fat) and protein molecules bond with sugar molecules.
Advanced glycation end products (AGE) cause protein fibers to stiffen and form incorrectly. The elastin and collagen in the skin are most affected by it.
These proteins are vital in maintaining a youthful appearance. However, the effect on these proteins leaves the skin feeling old and age-y.
The elastin and collagen become weaker, less pliable, and discolored when they combine with renegade sugars.
As a result of this, the skin becomes saggy and wrinkled. This ultimately leads to the formation of crepey skin.
If you suddenly lose weight, or if there is extreme weight loss, you may notice crepiness on your skin. This is because the skin that was stretched for a significant amount of time loses its elasticity, which leads to crepey skin.
Skin gains volume with excessive weight gain as the new cells form to make some space for the fat cells underneath them.
Some other factors that cause crepey skin include:
- Inadequate/poor nutrition
- Lack of sleep
- Taking certain medications like prednisone
- Inadequate skin moisturization
The factors mentioned above also have a detrimental effect on elastin and collagen, leading to crepey skin.
Treatment for Crepey Skin
If you notice crepiness on your skin on some parts of your body and are concerned about the same, you need not be worried. With the advancement in medical science, many new treatments have been introduced for managing crepey skin.
The treatments have also shown a remarkable success rate and are highly recommended by the experts as well.
The treatment will mainly depend on the following factors:
- The severity of crepiness
- The part of the body where crepiness is
We have mentioned some expert-recommended treatment options, home remedies, and some prescriptions that will help you. Take a look!
Expert-Approved Treatment Options
When you visit an expert, they may advise you of some of the below-mentioned recommendations for crepey skin:
Topical Retinol and Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHAs)
Many experts recommend using retinol for treating crepey skin. The main advantages of using retinol for treatment are that it speeds cell turnover and encourages exfoliation. In addition, you can use it in cream or gel form.
These products need to be used with proper precautions, as they may cause skin dryness, which may worsen the crepey skin if not used properly. Along with using topical retinol, it is always advised to maintain adequate hydration and moisturization.
You can also consider using alpha-hydroxy acids. They have similar anti-aging effects as retinoids. In addition, they are less drying and tolerated better. The most common is glycolic acid. It is a derivative of sugar cane.
Fractional Laser Treatment (Fraxel)
The main focus of this treatment is encouraging the growth of new collagen. In this procedure, lasers are used to heat the small areas under the skin.
This treatment helps in supporting the skin and also smoothens the wrinkles inside out.
If you have crepiness under your eyes, you should consider undergoing this treatment. Many doctors have recommended it.
Ulthera is a skin-tightening procedure in which targeted ultrasound is used to heat the supporting tissues under the skin. The intense heat used in this process breaks down some of the cells, which stimulates collagen growth. This ultimately helps in tightening the skin.
If you have crepey skin on your neck and face, you should consider undergoing this treatment. However, if you have crepiness on your upper arm, you should not consider this treatment.
Topical anesthetics used in this treatment are not very effective in the upper arm area. Moreover, it might be challenging to do this procedure due to the nerves present in that area.
Cryolipolysis is a non-invasive procedure in which fat is removed from localized areas. In this treatment, the lipids are frozen in fat cells, which causes them to dissolve slowly.
If you have loose skin over excess fat, then you should consider undergoing this treatment. This procedure is helpful in this scenario as it tightens the skin by removing the fat under the surface.
Fillers and Botox
Biostimulation agents can improve the texture, thickness, and appearance of crepey skin. Agents like Sculptra and Radiesse are used as fillers. These agents stimulate the growth of collagen after being injected into the skin.
This treatment used to be painful and required anesthesia. But over time, the technology has developed, and now people can undergo this treatment without requiring anesthesia.
Botox is administered on the lines of the face as the skin is creased due to the muscles of facial expression.
Microdermabrasion and Face Peeling
In microdermabrasion, the older, dry, top layers of your skin will be peeled off with an abrasive spray or sanding wheel. The dead skin cells are vacuumed away by this procedure.
After undergoing this surgery, you will have perfectly glowing skin in a few days.
Face peels are applied. You will notice that your skin is slightly puffy and pink for a few days before it is peeled off. Generally, you need to undergo multiple treatments of peeling to get the desired results.
Intense Pulsed Light (IPL)
The device used for this treatment looks like a laser. It is used to help with severe wrinkles, broken capillaries, red skin, and brown spots on the skin. You might need to undergo multiple sessions of this treatment to get the desired results.
When you lose a large amount of weight, you are left with excess crepey skin. Therefore, surgical procedure is used in the case of such people.
You need to visit a plastic surgeon if you wish to undergo surgical removal of crepey skin. However, you should make the decision carefully as it has certain risks.
You should start your treatment by visiting an expert, in this case, a dermatologist. After the dermatologist performs a complete evaluation, they will advise you to undergo the treatment best suited for your case.
If you notice that your skin is damaged due to sun exposure or is aging, you should consider using products with ingredients like alpha-hydroxy acids, retinoids, or peptides. You will notice many improvements by using them. When these ingredients are included in skincare products, they significantly help in:
- Encouraging new cell growth
- Removing damaged or dead skin
You should also consider using lactic acid, glycolic acid, hyaluronic acid, malic acid, tartaric acid, citric acid, and salicylic acid. They help in moisturizing the skin and also help in improving skin appearance.
If you have crepey skin on your arms or legs, you should use body moisturizers that contain ammonium lactate. You can try using AmLactin or Lac-Hydrin.
You can also consider using the over-the-counter face serums available in the market. These serums have proven to be very useful in maintaining the skin’s health and have gained immense popularity among people for the same.
You should use a sunscreen lotion with a good SPF (minimum SPF 30) when you are exposed to the sun for a long time. As sun exposure is one of the most common causes of crepey skin, precaution is better than cure.
You should be very careful while using over-the-counter products as you will be using them without any supervision. You should always use the products as advised. You should immediately stop using them if they burn or sting your skin.
It is not recommended to use many products at the same time. The number of products you use at once should be minimum, and you should not change the products very often. The products you use might take longer than you expect to show the desired results. You should be patient while using the products.
If you have any side effects or allergies after using any over-the-counter product, you should immediately visit a specialist for further intervention.
Taking care of your skin is always a good option, whether you notice any change or not. It is more important during the current pandemic, as people generally avoid going out of their houses unless necessary.
However, if you start noticing some change in your skin and wish to try some home remedies before visiting a specialist, you can do so. We have mentioned some remedies you can try at home.
You can use a simple sugar scrub. It will help in removing the dry and dead skin cells. It also helps in improving the overall appearance of the skin.
One of the best things you can do at home is make sure that you use body and face cleansers that do not strip your skin’s natural protein and lipid barriers. In addition, you should moisturize your skin well after cleansing.
Some other home remedies which can help prevent and treat skin crepiness include:
- Massaging the arms, legs, and face regularly
- Doing physical exercise
- Reducing stress
- Using natural moisturizers that are made from honey and mud
- Using exfoliating scrubs made from olive oil
If you notice some skin changes and are a little reluctant to visit a specialist during the current pandemic or can’t take time out of your hectic schedule, you can try some home therapy. However, you should consult your dermatologist virtually before starting any of the home remedies.
If you notice some side effects from the home therapy or if your skin condition worsens, you should visit your specialist (in person) immediately for further intervention.
If you notice crepey skin on some areas of your body, you can consider using Tretinoin. It is a topical prescription cream that you can apply directly to the affected area. Tretinoin is a part of the vitamin A group. It is often used on the face and protects the skin from harmful UV exposure.
You can also consider using a topical treatment that contains stabilized vitamin C.
Misconceptions about Treating Aging Skin
When you start gathering information to find solutions for your skin problem, you will encounter some factors that may be misleading or confusing. For example, many preventative measures have been considered and included in the treatment of aging skin.
These measures can surely provide preventive benefits, but you should not consider them as treatments.
Here are a few misconceptions about treating aging skin:
Many believe that taking collagen supplements will help in treating aging skin. It is a giant molecule. When you ingest it, it breaks down and does not reach the skin intact. If you rub collagen on the skin, it will not penetrate the layers of your skin.
Drinking a Lot of Water
Drinking water is essential. It is necessary for your renal and circulatory systems. It is also required to keep the internal organs hydrated.
Water is essential for skin; there is no doubt about that. It is necessary for preventative purposes. Maintaining adequate hydration might help in preventing skin issues, but it does not help treat any. It does not help in repairing dry or aging skin.
Prevention of Crepey Skin
With age, it is always good to take some preventative measures for the health of your skin. You might be thinking that you will have to fix a particular time in your daily schedule for this and that it will be very time-consuming. The thought of spending the extra money might also cross your mind.
Let us tell you something about your points of concern. You need not worry about taking out time from your daily schedule, nor do you need to spend extra dollars to take preventative measures to ensure that your skin remains healthy.
All you need to do is take care of small things like when you eat, how much hydration you maintain, and some basic skincare routines that you follow. All these do not require specific time or investment.
We have mentioned below some easy measures which will help you prevent crepey skin.
Avoid Sun Exposure
According to the American Association of Dermatology, the most preventable cause for early skin damage is sun exposure.
If you need to go out in the sun, you should always wear protective clothing. You should also apply a full spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or more. You should also seek shade wherever possible. It will minimize your exposure to harmful UV rays.
As people age, they are advised to adapt their skincare accordingly. For example, when people are in their 40’s, the skin does not produce as much oil as it used to. This causes irritation and inflammation with prolonged exposure to the sun.
You should avoid exposure to tanning beds. They are harmful and cause crepey skin in individuals under the age of 20. In addition, exposure to UV light from tanning beds has been shown to damage the DNA of the skin cells. This may lead to skin cancer and premature skin aging.
You should ask your dermatologist to recommend a moisturizer for dry skin. Generally, products containing a phospholipid known as ceramide are known to give good results.
They work best as they penetrate the skin, which carries moisture below the superficial skin layers, and helps in producing long-lasting hydration. The best time to apply a moisturizer is immediately after drying your body with a towel.
The crepey skin that you may notice seasonally or inconsistently is primarily due to dryness. Therefore, you should keep your skin moisturized. It will help in preventing collagen damage due to dryness.
You can consider using products with hyaluronic acid or glycerin. They have properties that will help your skin stay hydrated for a long time. Moreover, your skin will appear plump and supple by using these products.
Moisturizing your skin regularly will help prevent crepey skin and improve your skin’s appearance.
Hydration is essential to maintain good skin health. You can keep your skin hydrated by using a moisturizer that will trap water under your skin which will help the skin look young and healthy.
You should consider using topical creams containing retinol. It will help in restoring the elasticity of the skin and will also help in thickening the collagen. It may also decrease your chances of developing crepey skin.
You should have adequate fluid intake. A sufficient fluid intake will also help you in maintaining your skin. You should drink water, coconut water, green juices, fresh fruit juices, and other similar fresh liquids.
Eating Healthy Diet
Antioxidants have many health benefits. They are also helpful in maintaining the good health of your skin. Therefore, you should include foods rich in antioxidants like berries, beans, whole grains, dark green leafy vegetables, nuts, and orange vegetables in your diet.
You should also include foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. You should eat fish, eggs, spinach, flax seeds, soybeans, cashews, and walnuts.
You should consider taking supplements of collagen peptides, hyaluronic acid, and other collagen-boosting vitamins. However, taking these supplements might affect your body’s natural production of collagen. Therefore, you should consult your doctor before you start taking the supplements.
You should include bone broth, fish, chicken, and egg white in your diet. They are excellent sources of collagen and the amino acids needed to build collagen.
Vitamin C also plays a vital role in collagen production. Therefore, you should include citrus fruits in your diet.
Your diet has a significant impact on your skin. Hence, eating some of the foods mentioned above will help in preventing crepey skin.
You should exfoliate your skin at regular intervals. You can use a gentle exfoliating or loofah sponge 1-2 times a week to exfoliate your skin. You should avoid overusing the exfoliating products as they might irritate your skin. Moisturizing your skin after exfoliation is necessary.
With age, you must change your cleanser to a less-drying cleaner. The cleanser should be altered for both your face and body. If you have sensitive skin, you are advised to consult with your doctor before using or changing any products.
Exercise is an excellent deterrent for crepey skin. Therefore, you should make it a point that you exercise at least four times a week.
If you feel that doing hard-core cardio and strength training is more for you, you can also consider walking for 45 minutes as an alternative.
The main advantage of doing regular exercise is that it helps in increasing blood circulation. The increased blood circulation ultimately helps in supplying your skin with fresh blood and the required supplements.
Get Adequate Sleep
The importance of getting adequate sleep is more than you can imagine. The primary advantage of getting proper sleep is that it helps speed the body’s natural repairing process. It also helps in slowing down the aging process to a greater extent.
The crepey skin, fine lines, and wrinkles you notice can also be caused due to stress. Therefore, it is necessary to avoid specific stress-causing factors.
Regular meditation, spending some time with your loved ones, and walking around nature for about 20 minutes to an hour can help you relax, which will ultimately help decrease the stress. The peace you will get from it will automatically reflect on the glow on your skin. That is why it is always recommended to get proper sleep and adequate rest.
As you age, you should follow some of the mentioned recommendations for the prevention of crepey skin. Following the recommendations does not require a lot of time, nor does it require any investment. All you need to do is take some precautions and maintain a skincare routine.
Nowadays, with the increase in pollution, changes in our diet, and many other factors, the number of people facing skin issues has increased exponentially. One of the most common skin issues that people have been facing is crepey skin.
Many factors are responsible for this. The main amongst them being exposed to ultraviolet rays and skin dryness. If you notice that you have some skin changes, you should try and avoid exposure to certain factors that might cause crepey skin.
If the dermatologist advises you to undergo any procedure, you should look into the pros and cons of the recommended approach and proceed accordingly.
If you do not notice any skin changes, you should still avoid exposure to certain factors as a preventive measure.
Taking preventive measures is a wise decision. It can be achieved by making simple lifestyle changes and adopting certain habits. For example, you can start by following a more healthy diet.
We are sure that the tips mentioned above will help you deal better with crepey skin.