Crinkly, papery, wrinkly, crepey—no matter what you choose to call it, the tissue-paper-thin skin that begins to show up on areas around your body, from knees to neck, is one of the most awkward signs of skin aging to combat.
What is Crepey Skin Anyway?
Before considering how to reduce and prevent the development of crepey skin, you have to know what exactly crepey skin is. You might not see crepey skin talked about as frequently as other skin problems, but it’s very common.
Unsightly, that’s what it’s. Crepey skin is skin that has become less elastic, drier and thinner— alike in feel and look to crepe paper. Crepey skin is an expected consequence of aging that can occur all over the body, from chest to neck to under the eyes. It starts to appear at the age of forty and it’s a real beast to battle.
So, in this post, we discuss how to get rid of the crepey skin, along with the different causes and promising ways to treat and prevent it.
Causes of Crepey Skin
Although aging plays a key role in the appearance of crepey skin, it’s without a doubt, not the only cause. In fact, several other factors can cause crepey skin. We can’t turn back the clock, but we can change our lifestyles for the better to ward off crepey skin. Let’s see how by studying some of the other causes of crepey skin:
- Extreme Weight Fluctuations
Unexpected changes in weight increase your odds of getting crepey skin. When you’re in your youth, your skin is elastic and flinches effortlessly since youthful skin produces a lot of elastin and collagen.
But as you age, your skin’s plasticity can no longer keep up with your exercise and diet habits. When this takes place, your skin can no longer recoil back like it used to. Frequent stretching, therefore, causes loose, thin skin like on your knees and elbows.
- Prolonged Sun Exposure
The sun’s UV rays damage the elastin and collagen that provide your skin with structure, tone, and support. When a lot of damage has taken place, your skin becomes crepey, sags and droops.
Not only does the sun promote the breakdown of collagen, but also prolonged exposure to UV light causes remaining collagen molecules to be inflexible and stiff. Consequently, young-looking, smooth skin is more prone to crepey skin.
- Cigarette Smoking
Smoking has been known to facilitate the aging process. The period and amount that you smoke have a direct correspondence with the probability of wrinkled and crepey skin. Crepey skin isn’t only present on the mouths of chain-smokers, but on all areas of their bodies, including above the knees, chest and inner arms.
Why is smoking so bad for your skin? Well, this is because there are over four thousand chemicals in tobacco smoke. Most, if not all, of these chemicals, destroy elastin and collagen, which are the sources of the skin’s elasticity and strength.
Smoking, or even passive smoking, is so damaging to your skin that, unless you quit smoking, all the other preventative attempts you try will probably fail. Cigarette smoke is just that dangerous. So, we highly recommend you to quit smoking.
Concrete scientific studies state that when you sleep on your stomach or side, your face is smashed down against the throw pillow, pressing the skin into crinkles. So, if you lay in that position for eight or six hours, the creases become etched into your face. Regrettably, this etching, creasing, and smashing aren’t just limited to your face. It also happens in other areas of your body as well. So, If at all possible, always try sleeping on your back.
- Lack of Exercise
When the skin is not toned up, it surrenders to the pull of gravity and quickly sags. Additionally, it also causes fast thinning of the dermis layers.
- Poor Diet
Folks not getting adequate nutrition are at a greater risk of suffering many dermis complications. If you’re omega-3 fatty acids, protein, vitamin E, vitamin C and vitamin A deficient, your skin can’t function properly.
Gravity isn’t our ally, as we grow older. What goes up must come down, and our skin is no exception to this law. Unfortunately for us, gravity and crepey skin go side-by-side. Gravity is continuously stretching and pulling your skin out of place, and that can cause crepey skin.
As you advance in years, your body loses its knack to retain as much moisture as it did during its youthful years. When that comes to pass, the skin becomes dry and dehydrated, setting the stage for wrinkles and crepey skin to make their first appearance.
- A Diet Chock-Full with Sugar
When you take a diet rich in sugar, a process referred to as Glycation takes place. Glycation is the binding of sugar molecules with protein molecules. Ultimately, what is well known as “progressive glycation end products,” starts to form causing protein fibers to form incorrectly and stiffen.
Proteins in the skin most affected by glycation are elastin and collagen. By now, you’re fully aware that these proteins are essential to sustaining a youthful look. When elastin and collagen merge with renegade sugars, they become less pliable, discolored and weak. Consequently, crepey skin, sagginess, and wrinkles follow.
Crepey Skin Treatments
A myriad of treatments might be used to combat crepey skin and increase skin health. The location, cause of creping, and skin type on your body will decide which treatments are best. Irrespective of what you choose, the quicker you treat crepey skin, the simpler it’ll be to create a visible change in its support, thickness, texture, and appearance. Your skin doctor can help you decide the right cures for your skin and ensure you’re correctly diagnosed.
Dermatological remedies that can heal crepey skin comprise:
- Topical Retinoid
Both in a gel or cream, retinoids speed up cell regeneration and promote exfoliation. But, these products can be drying and worsen a crepey skin condition if they are not also used with the right hydrating moisturizer and precautions.
- Fractional Laser Treatment
This remedy involves the use of lasers to heat up small areas beneath your skin, which promotes the growth of new collagen. This helps smoothen out wrinkling from the inside out and support your skin. Crepey skin around the eyes reacts well to Fractional laser treatment.
Comparable to fractional laser treatment, Ultrasound is a skin-tightening process that employs the use of focused ultrasound to heat up the supporting tissues underneath your skin. This concentrated heat splits up some of the cells and accelerates the development of collagen to smoothen your skin. This treatment is mostly used on the neck and face and not on the upper arm.
This is an advanced procedure that helps to get rid of localized areas of fat. The treatment freezes the lipids in fat cells and causes them to dissolve gradually. Cryolipolysis is used when loose skin is above excess fat, as the therapy tightens skin by removing the fat underneath the surface.
A bio-stimulatory bulking agent such as Sculptra or Radiesse can correct the thickness, texture, and appearance of crepey skin. These agents are introduced into your skin to speed up the growth of collagen.
Aged or sun damaged skin can profit from products with components like peptides, alpha hydroxy acids, or retinoids. When added in skin care products, these components can help get rid of dead or damaged cells and promote new cell growth. Hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, salicylic acid, and lactic acid can also help moisturize the skin and improve the skin’s appearance. For crepey skin on your legs or arms, try to find a body moisturizer that contains alpha hydroxy acid such as AmLactin or Lac-Hydrin.
A simple sugar scrub might help get rid of dead, dry skin cells and improve the look of your skin as a whole. However, the best thing you can do is ensure you’re using body and facial cleansers that don’t deprive your skin of its natural protein and lipid barrier and properly moisturizing when you’re done cleaning your face.
How to Prevent or Reduce Your Odds of Developing Crepey Skin
Everybody knows the basics like avoiding negative lifestyle factors such as cigarettes and alcohol, reducing stress, drinking a lot of water, and getting plenty of rest. But, what else can you do to reduce premature aging and the ensuing crepey skin?
- A Diet Low in Processed Foods and Sugar
Taking a lot of omega–3 fats, lean meats, fruits, and veggies can help slow glycation—the chemical effect that causes your skin to be less supple.
- Drink Green Tea
Green tea has been shown to affect the glycation process while promoting collagen formation greatly—so if you’re drinking it frequently, you’re already caring for your skin.
- Wear Sunscreen
Always shield your skin from the scorching sun by wearing an SPF of 15 or above on a daily basis. And, not just on your face! Crepey skin appears under the chin, so your protection should cover every bit of uncovered skin, from head to shoulders, down to knees and toes.
- Moisturize Your Skin
If your sunblock doesn’t contain a moisturizer, then toting up a light moisturizer to your routine during the day and a denser formula at night—both with glycolic acid or beta, alpha–hydroxy acid—can help your skin cells retain their plumpness and preserve moisture.
Moisturizers make it easier to get rid of dead skin cells, permitting newer, plumper cells to surface. They also hydrate skin while repairing elastin and collagen.
Final Thoughts on Crepey Skin
You might be questioning what the big deal about crepey skin is anyway. Crepey skin doesn’t pose any serious health risks nor is it a risk factor of a dangerous health condition. Humans have survived for decades with crepey skin as just another part of aging.
Considering that fact, in a society that appreciates youth, the appearance of sagging, loose skin can be grim for many folks. There are countless inexpensive ways to shield your skin from the consequences of aging, to slow down the onset and abundance of crepey skin.
Keeping your skin moisturized with creams and plenty of water, maintaining a healthy and balanced diet, and eluding the harmful sunrays are simple and inexpensive ways.
All things considered, we all age. But, how well we age, is entirely up to us.