Crepey skin refers to the areas of the body that begin to look like a tissue, which has been carried in a firm grip for a couple of weeks, as we age. Crepey skin resembles wrinkled paper or elephant skin and can be found, throughout our lives, on our elbows. It is attributed to the skin’s lack of firmness which accompanies aging; however, crepey skin can be avoided.
Crepey skin is different from other types of skin aging such as stretch marks and wrinkles. Stretch marks are a result of a dermal tear and loss of elastin in an area of the skin—most commonly found in areas which have endured weight fluctuations—which results in red marks on the skin. Stretch marks are unavoidable and are present on people of all ages and both sexes, and are most common on women who have carried babies.
Stretch marks cannot be treated but will fade as time goes on. Crepey skin is a result of a lack of elastin in the dermis (the second layer of the skin) and the epidermis (the outer layer of the skin) layers of the skin. People often confuse crepey skin and wrinkles, however, wrinkles are a result of constant motion of the skin in areas which lack elastin and youthful fullness– think about laugh lines and frown lines. Crepey skin is not a result of motion, but rather caused by sun damage, aging and a bad diet.
Crepey skin first shows up as small dots around the hair follicles and, over time, these dots begin to merge into one another. This merging results in linear and diamond-shaped marks appearing in the skin and an accumulation of these skin folds results in the skin thinning out.
Unlike other forms of aging, crepey skin can be prevented from a young age. People with a fair complexion, who are prone to sun-damage, who use tanning beds or who lack melanin are at a high risk of getting crepey skin. People who fall into the aforementioned categories should exercise extra caution and practice good skin care early in life.
In order to avoid crepey skin, everyone should avoid sun exposure and, more importantly, sun damage. The sun turns the supple molecules of the skin into stiff molecules and sun damage leads to red and inflamed skin, which causes freckles, sun-marks and crepey skin.
People in their 40s are at a higher risk of getting crepey skin because the skin thins out at a faster rate when we hit our 40s and the body’s production of melanin slows down, and the skin loses its elastin. Weight fluctuations, at this stage in our lives, causes crepey skin. Although they are a result of the same thing, crepey skin differs from stretch marks in this context.
Crepey skin appears after weight fluctuations because the skin is not able to bounce back after being stretched out because of the lack of elastin; the waistline may have shrunk, but the skin cannot get back to its previous state. This is why it is said that people must choose between their skin and their waistline when they hit their 40s.
Crepey skin may have the same cause as other types of skin aging, however, people cannot prevent stretch marks because the body’s growth is inevitable and wrinkles, and the constant motion of the skin, cannot be avoided but crepey skin can be avoided if extreme caution is practiced. A good skin care regimen and extra caution when going into the sun can put a stop to crepey skin.