Does Skin Complexion Change with Age?

a woman touching her cheeks

Skin Complexion

If you are a middle-aged person or even older, you probably must have noticed many changes in your skin tone. You may have many areas of your skin that start showing ageing signs like a darker skin tone than the normal level, or you may have developed scaly patches. The spots are likely to appear on skin that’s been majorly exposed to the elements, such as your hands and face, but they can also have their presence on areas like:

  • Shoulders
  • Forearms
  • Chest
  • Neck
  • Upper back
  • With Ageing

Many ageing signs start appearing as you age, skin discolouration is one among them.

Skin discolourations often occur in persons who are over the age of 50. Just as any other systems in your body experience any wear-and-tear with time, similarly your skin becomes thinner and drier as you grow old and becomes more prone to develop the major scaly patches and skin discolourations. 

This is because your skin doesn’t produce the level of collagen and elastin as much as required for maintaining a healthy skin tone as you grow older. Such proteins help in keeping your skin fair, smooth, radiant and healthy.

These skin colour changes that appear as you grow old can be severely disconcerting and even be a major blow to your self-confidence if they appear on prominent areas of your body like on your face. 

Some Other Common Problems Associated With Ageing On Your Skin Tone

Skin disorders are so common among old age people that it is often hard to differentiate between normal changes from those related to skin disorders. More than 90% of all of the older age group people have some type of skin disorder.

Skin disorders like change in skin complexion can be caused by many known conditions, some of the major reasons are:

  • Some of the blood vessel diseases like arteriosclerosis
  • Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Liver disease
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Obesity
  • Reactions to some medicines
  • Stress

Other causes of skin complexion changes can be:

  • Allergies to plants and other substances
  • Climate
  • Clothing
  • Exposures of industrial and household chemicals
  • Indoor heating

Sunlight is also a major cause to change in your skin tone as you grow old some other skin effects can be seen:

  • Loss of elasticity also known as elastosis
  • Noncancerous skin growths are also known by the name keratoacanthomas.
  • Pigment changes such as liver spots
  • Hyperpigmentation 
  • Thickening of the skin
  • Sun exposure has also been linked directly to some skin cancers, like basal cell cancer, melanoma and squamous cell carcinoma.

What Kind of Skin Tone Changes Come As You Age?

To help you make more understanding of these changes in your skin, we put together information on some of the most common types of discolourations.

As we grow old changes like these naturally occur to your skin:

  • Your skin starts becoming rougher.
  • Your skin develops lesions like benign tumours.
  • Skin colour changes with the age.
  • Your skin becomes slack. The loss of the elastic tissue in your skin with age causes your skin to hang loosely.
  • Skin becomes more of the transparent type. This is caused by thinning of your outer layer of skin called the epidermis.
  • Your skin becomes more fragile. This is actually caused by a flattening of the junction area which is where your epidermis and dermis layer of skin come together.
  • Your skin becomes more easily bruised due to the thinner walls of your blood vessel.

Apart from all such mentioned skin complications, the most common of such skin tone disorders is a change in your skin complexion called by the name of age spots.

Many of such skin discolourations turn out to be age spots. They’re normally the flat skin spots that range from tan to some dark brown in colour. They may even be more grey to black and can be a half-inch or even more in diameter.

As you enter the 40s or 50s, there is quite a good chance that you will notice many new patches of skin pigmentation appear on your skin. These are usually called the age spots but are also known by the name liver spots or the solar lentigines.

That is because these masses of pigmentation appear on your skin that get most of the sunlight exposure. Age spots are usually caused by damage done due to ultraviolet light present in the sun rays. UV is known to accelerate the production of dark skin pigment called melanin. But these age spots are actually a defensive mechanism of your skin as it attempts to shield deeper layers of the flesh. Tanning beds often accelerate the appearance of age spots.

These age spots are normally flat, not raised, and can be black, brown, or grey in colour. They're usually oval in shape and simply give the appearance of excessive pigmentation. Most of these age spots appear on the backs of your hands and feet, shoulders, upper back and face, and they typically obtain the size of freckles, but they usually appear in the clusters, and thus appear much larger to your eyes.

These age spots are harmless. But sometimes these age spots are somewhat similar in appearance to the beginning stages of some of the known skin cancers. So if you notice any such change which appears somewhat abnormal in size, shape or colour you must see a doctor.

As with many skin disorders that appear with age, some people can have a genetic predisposition to age spots. If you have a light or fair skin tone or a history of sunburns, you are obviously at a greater risk of developing some major elements of easily noticeable age spots as you grow old.

Once these age spots start appearing, there are quite a few ways in which you can treat them fairly. Bleaching creams can reduce the darkness of such appeared age spots, as can also be done by laser therapy or even by chemical peels.  

Take Away

Because most skin changes are related to age, prevention is a lifelong process to shield your skin from the ageing process.

You must use good quality sunscreen when you step out in the sun, even in the winter season.

Wear protective clothing in such situations.

Always taking a well-balanced diet full of good nutrition and adequate fluids prove very useful in the long run as dehydration increases the risk of severe skin injury. Sometimes it is seen that these minor nutritional deficiencies can cause skin rashes, skin lesions, and other various skin disorders, even if you have no other symptoms in the visible zone. 

Do not go for a harsh soap as they will treat your skin very harshly and damage it severely. Above all skin will age, one day it will definitely show signs of ageing any known scientific anti-ageing process can not put a full stop to human ageing. But by following all major nutritional skin requirements you can delay it to the maximum possible human known limits.