During childhood and young age, your skin is like a rubber band.  If you stretch it and release it, it snaps back to its original position. When you start to grow old, you will notice that your skin starts to lose its elasticity, becoming loose and flaccid. However, if you feel that your skin has become thin like paper or finely-wrinkled like crepe paper, it is a sign of crepey skin. Crepey skin develops in response to reduced levels of elastin and collagen – the two proteins responsible for stretching and contracting of skin. It has been observed that people with fair skin are more likely to develop crepey skin.

What is the difference between wrinkles and crepey skin? 

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Wrinkles are formed due to repeated stretching of skin in a particular body part. However, skin is considered crepey when it grows thin and fails to return to its normal shape after being stretched. 

What causes crepey skin? 

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Although aging is considered to be a common cause of wrinkles and loose skin, it is not the most important factor responsible for crepey skin. Here are some factors responsible for crepey skin:

1. Excessive exposure to sunlight:  Excessive exposure to ultraviolet (UV) radiations present in sunlight makes the skin hard and inflexible by breaking elastin fibers. The long duration of exposure does not allow these fibers to heal completely, making the skin thin and crepey.

2. Drastic variations in body weight: Sudden and frequent changes in body weight make the skin stretch and contract repeatedly. Though your skin may be able to sustain this when you are young, this elasticity may be lost over a period of time, making the skin loose, especially around elbows and knees.

3. Active and passive smoking: We all are aware that smoking accelerates the aging process and has a negative effect on our skin. There are multiple chemicals in tobacco which damage the elastin and collagen required to maintain the elasticity of the skin. Even secondary or passive smoking has damaging effects on the skin and can lead to crepey skin. Air pollution is also hazardous for your skin.

4. Long-term use of medications: Certain medications such as prednisolone, if taken for a long duration of time, can cause crepey skin.

5. Poor nutrition: Not taking a healthy and balanced diet may lead to a deficiency of certain nutrients that your skin needs to maintain its elasticity. Your skin may, therefore, appear loose and dull. A diet rich in sugar leads to binding of protein molecules with sugar molecules, a process called glycation. This causes stiffening of the protein fibers, leading to crepey skin.  

6. Reduced skin moisture due to aging: As we age, the moisture-holding capacity of our body decreases, rendering our skin parched and dehydrated. This state is a prerequisite for the development of crepey skin and wrinkles. Lack of moisture due to other reasons can also make the skin crepey.

Can we prevent the development of crepey skin? 

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Although aging is a factor that can hardly be avoided, its effects can be delayed, making it possible for us to enjoy healthy skin for a long period of time. 

These are:

a) Reduce exposure to the sun: Try to stay away from the damaging rays of the sun as much as you can and protect your skin using sunscreen whenever you have to stay under the sun for long durations.

b) Provide adequate hydration to the skin: Using a good skin-moisturizer with ingredients such as lactic acid, salicylic acid or glycolic acid can help provide the necessary lubrication for your skin and reduce crepey appearance.  

c) Take nutritious, balanced diet: A healthy and balanced diet containing an adequate amount of necessary nutrients is essential for healthy, glowing and wrinkle-free skin. 

d) Stay hydrated: Drink at least 4-5 glasses of water every day. If you are living in a hot environment or if you exercise, you should take at least 8-10 glasses of water per day to maintain good moisture content in your skin cells.  

e) Manage your weight gradually: If you are overweight and decide to follow a weight-loss regime, make sure that you do not lose weight too quickly. A slow pace of weight-loss, i.e. less than 1kg/week will give your body time to adjust, allowing the skin to repair itself so that permanent damage can be avoided.

Home remedies/other measures to treat crepey skin? 
ways to treat crepey skin at home =

Here are a few things you can do to deal with crepey skin and to maintain healthy skin:

  • Physical workouts
  • Face, arm and leg massages
  • Simple sugar scrubs to remove dry, dead skin cells
  • Reduction of mental stress

Alongside these remedies, multiple sunscreens and moisturizers are also available in the market for different types of skins. For accurate assessment and choosing the correct product, you can speak with an online Dermatologist at www.healthcaremagic.com

About the Author

Dr. Aalok Makker

Dr. Aalok Makker is an Ayurveda Specialist. He holds an extensive experience of more than 15 years in Ayurveda and Medical Writing. He is an ardent writer having expertise in writing articles and blogs for various consumer health platforms.

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