Aging Changes in Skin
Alternate Names : Age-Related Changes in Skin
Skin changes in many ways as a person ages. Its ability to stretch, and its
coloration, dryness, and ability to protect the body are all affected by the
What is the information for this topic?
The skin is considered the largest organ of the body. It is one of the most
noticeable places in which aging changes occur. Wrinkles, sagging skin, and dry skin are all indicators of the
aging process. To many individuals, these can be unpleasant changes.
The skin is the body's protective coating. It protects against the environment
and helps to regulate body temperature. It also helps maintain the body's fluid
and salt balance. Nerve fibers in the skin provide information about a person's
surroundings. These nerves detect touch, pain, pressure, and temperature.
The skin tends to get thinner with age. This causes older people to have pale,
translucent skin. The number of pigment, or color-containing, cells decreases.
The color-containing cells that are left tend to get bigger and group together.
This is the cause of age
spots that commonly appear on elderly skin. These are also called
liver spots. These pigmented areas tend to be more common on skin that has been
exposed to the sun.
The number of sweat glands in the skin is decreased with age. This causes the
elderly to sweat less. This lack of sweating makes the ability to regulate body
temperature more difficult in hot weather. Because of this, elderly people are
more likely to develop heat
emergencies, such as heat exhaustion and heat stroke. At the same time, there is less blood flow to the
skin. This makes the skin of the elderly cooler to the touch. The decreased
number of sweat glands and oil glands in the skin also causes drier, scalier
skin that may be itchy as well.
The skin also loses its strength and elasticity, or ability to stretch. This
makes the skin less able to smooth out, which may be part of the reason why
wrinkles and sagging skin affect
Another change with age is that a person's skin will bruise more easily. This
occurs because the blood vessels in the skin become fragile and bleed easily.
This skin change begins earlier in women than in men.
The layer of fat under the skin also becomes thinner with age. This is part of
the reason for the thin, lean appearance of older people. It also contributes
to loosening and wrinkling of the skin. This loss of fat also means a person
has less natural insulation. An older person is at greater risk for a low body
hypothermia, when exposed to cold.
The combined effects of skin aging can cause increased bruising and skin tears,
even from minor injuries. Older people are also prone to getting damage to skin
that receives a high amount of pressure for long periods of time. Wounds in
older people may heal 4 to 5 times more slowly than in younger people.
Skin disorders are also more likely with age. More than 90% of the geriatric
population will have some type of skin condition. Environmental factors and
inherited factors are a frequent cause of skin changes. The sun is a major
culprit in causing skin damage, though many other diseases can also cause skin
Sun damage can be easily seen in a person by comparing
sun-exposed skin with areas that do not get sunlight. Unexposed skin tends to
be very elastic and smooth. Skin that has had a lot of exposure to the sun is dry, wrinkled, and sagging.
A leathery, weather-beaten appearance of the skin is often seen in people who
have worked outside or spent a lot of time outdoors during their lives.
Exposure to sunlight has been proven to increase the risk of skin cancer, which is most
commonly seen in the elderly.