Thin, crepe paper-like skin that is loose and wrinkled is known as crepey skin. Most probably caused by a combination of sun damage, lack of moisture, and aging, the condition affects large areas and is most common on the upper inner arms and under the eyes.
By avoiding the sun and wearing sun protection, including sunscreen and a wide-brimmed hat, daily, you can prevent the development of crepey skin. In addition, hydrating is important, so use moisturizing lotion or skincare products that contain glycerin or hyaluronic acid to prevent or enhance the appearance of crepey skin. Coconut or olive oil, and cocoa butter may soften and hydrate your skin as well. Food high in vitamin C and antioxidants, such as oranges or blueberries, also improves the condition while also supporting collagen production and promoting healthy skin overall.
The sooner you notice the condition and treat it, the better your chances for significant improvements. Procedures for crepey skin will depend on the cause of the condition and the affected area. Over-the-counter treatments include skincare products that contain alpha-hydroxy acids, peptides, or retinoids. These ingredients will remove dead or damaged cells and promote new cell growth. Other effective ingredients include salicylic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, and hyaluronic acid which nourish and moisturize your skin and enhance its texture. If you prefer to go to a dermatologist to get professional help, you can choose one of the following treatments:
- Topical retinoid – Retinoids exfoliate the skin and accelerate cell turnover. Always use topical retinoids with caution as they can dry out the skin and worsen the appearance of crepey skin unless used with a hydrating moisturizer.
- Fillers – Injecting a filler like Sculptra or Radiesse into the skin can reduce the appearance of crepey skin while improving skin texture and promoting collagen production.
- Cryolipolysis (CoolSculpting) – CoolSculpting is a popular non-invasive treatment that removes localized fat pockets by freezing and then slowly dissolving them while tightening the skin at the same time.
- Fractional laser treatment (Fraxel) – This treatment promotes collagen production, wrinkle reduction, and smoothening in areas that are heated up by fractional lasers.
- Ultrasound (Ulthera) – Ulthera is commonly used on the face and neck and tightens the skin with targeted ultrasound to heat the tissue below the skin. As a result, cells are broken down and collagen production is stimulated which helps improve the appearance of crepey skin.