Thin Skin - The Dermatology Review

Thin Skin



Proper Care for Thin Skin

Thin skin, also known as fragile skin, or thinning skin, is a condition most often associated with elderly people. This is a problem that can affect anyone, from any demographic. Thin skin is characterized by a sagging appearance and a higher visibility of veins and capillaries under the skin. This problem is not unique to any part of the body, but is more troublesome on the face and hands, because it is more visible in those areas. When looking for thin skin treatment, it is important to first understand what causes the problem and to have realistic expectations about improvement.

Root Causes of Thin Skin

Thin skin occurs when the growth and division of skin cells begins to slow down. Cell division and growth are essential to skin rejuvenation, and if this process slows, the skin layers will not be replenished properly and will lose elasticity. If this wasn’t troubling enough, the fatty cells in the skin also begin to lose luster with age, leading to hollow areas and thin skin. Fatty tissues under our skin is important, as it acts as a buffer between the hard objects we come in contact with in our everyday lives and our blood vessels. Without this much-needed cushion, bumping up against a table may cause your skin to literally tear.

Thin Skin

Treating Thin Skin

The best approach to treating thin skin is to first diagnosing exactly why it is thinning in the first place. Of course, the biggest culprit is age, but there are other big reasons. For example long-term use of certain medications containing steroids may cause the skin to become thinner over time. There are also inflammatory skin diseases that could cause the condition, as well as thin skin brought about by long term exposure to the sun.


The best way to treat thin skin is to prevent it from occurring in the first place. For example, you might change your diet and skin care products habits to encourage healthy skin through a sufficient intake of nutrients and hydration. A good diet should consist of natural, nutrient-rich foods and keep yourself hydrated with plenty of water. Also, avoid the harmful UV rays from the sun as much as possible, as it cannot be overstated how much sun damage can contribute to thin skin over time. If you must venture outdoors, apply a liberal amount of sunscreen with an SPF of no less than 15.

Topical Treatments for Thin Skin

Topically, you can apply any number of lotions to moisturize thin skin. There are all natural lotions and creams, moisturizers with intense properties and added collagen, moisturizers with added sunscreen, and hypoallergenic solutions for those with sensitive thin skin. To choose the best face moisturizer or lotion, make sure that it is appropriate for your skin type and lifestyle.

Consider using moisturizing serums, which are easier for the skin to absorb, instead of lotions and creams. The serums are a bit more expensive than your run of the mill moisturizing cream, but the serums work faster on skin that is dangerously low of moisture, especially thin skin. Look closely at the ingredients of your products, and search for those with zinc, vitamin C, and collagen, as these may stimulate collagen production.

Protecting Thin Skin

Once you realize you have thin skin, you will have to take precautions against accidental bumps, scrapes, and tears. It is recommended that those dealing with this condition wear protective clothing over areas that are more prone to contact. Long sleeves will help the forearms and elbows, while long pants will protect the sensitive thin skin of the shins.

Don’t Forget the Basics

In general, the best defense against thin skin is a great offense. Keep hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, especially clear water when possible. The sun is your enemy; use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 15 at the very least when going outdoors. Consider taking essential vitamins and supplements such as flax seed and fish oils, which will help increase the fatty acids you want in your skin. And, of course, moisturize regularly to plum up thin skin and stimulate the health of skin cells.

Highly Recommended 
We recommend Advanced Dermatology and Formulyst skin care products.

  • Dayana 03.19.17 Reply

    I suffered a first degree burn to a certain part of my face. Part of the process they gave a topical cream with steroids and antibacterial properties to keep it from getting infected and to prompt quick healing. I was formed that thinning skin in area will probably occur. Once my skin heals properly and time in between has occurred, can I use my 1% retinol to help with that issue? I currently also use Vit C, Hyluronic acid, BHA and AHA. But im more concerned right now about the thinning skin. I know it seems stupid for some people to worry about such a thing. And while I thank my lucky stars that it was just a first degree burn, nonetheless once it heals I still have the skin to worry about. Im only 36.

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