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What Are the Causes of Thinning Skin?

blood thinners fragile skin skin tears thin skin thinning skin

Your skin is your body’s largest and fastest growing organ.  It is constantly regenerating itself in order to protect you from cold, heat and infection. As an adult your epidermis or skin is made up of over 1.5 trillion cells.  You shed 30 to 40 thousand dead skin cells every hour and these cells are being replaced constantly through the division of your living skin cells.

what are the causes of thinning skin

Thin skin is caused by your skin cells not dividing as quickly as they should. The natural aging process, genetics and medications are all sources of thinning skin.  As we age cell division slows down and the fatty cells in your skin sometimes lose their luster as well as their ability to protect you from scrapes and cuts.  The result is thin or fragile skin that cuts and bruises very easily during normal daily activities.

Numerous medications can also cause thinning or fragile skin conditions.  These include medicines for:

  • Heart Disease
  • Diabetes
  • Blood Clots
  • Atrial Fibrillation (irregular heart beat)
  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Eczema

In addition to some medications quite a few dietary supplements cause thinning skin.  Some of these are:

  • Fish Oil
  • Ginko
  • Vitamin C (only in very large doses)
  • Multivitamins

Thinning or fragile skin is typically associated with the elderly but millions of people suffer from thin skin because of the medications and dietary supplements listed above.  Women are more likely to suffer from thin skin than men and they are also more easily bruised due to fragile skin. It is not recommended that you stop taking any prescribed medications to prevent thinning skin.  There is no cure for thinning skin but there are measures you can take to prevent or reduce bruising, skin tears and cuts.  Some of these include:

  1. Wearing long sleeves (not good if it’s hot)
  2. Wearing protective arm sleeves (many stay cool in the heat)
  3. Applying moisturizer regularly (once per day)
  4. Applying a Retinoid topical ointment (may require a prescription)
  5. Use sunscreen (always a good idea)

Thin skin is a common condition among the elderly and those taking dietary supplements or medications that thin the blood. Your skin protects you from the elements and it deserves protection as well!

This Skin Care Blog is proudly sponsored by SKIN GUARDS.

What Are the Causes of Thinning Skin? Sources:

Mayo Clinic - Easy Bruising
The Derm Review - Thin Skin
How Stuff Works - Skin Cells

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