Thin Skin: Causes & Treatment Options

a woman is scratching her hands

What is the definition of thin skin? 

Skin that tears, bruises, or breaks easily is said to have thin skin. Weak skin is another term for thin skin. Skin thinning is a common condition among the elderly, particularly on the face, arms, and hands. If a person's skin is thin, veins, tendons, bones, and capillaries can be seen beneath the skin of their hands and arms.

The dermis is the skin's middle layer, which is made up of several layers. It accounts for 90 per cent of the thickness of your skin. The thick, fibrous dermis is composed of collagen and elastin. The weakening of the dermis results in thin skin. Thin skin is frequently linked to ageing. UV exposure, genetics, lifestyle, including the use of specific medicines, on the other hand, can all play a part.

Ageing and Ageing signs

As you age, your body produces less collagen. Collagen is a protein found in the skin that helps to prevent wrinkles, sagging and moisture loss. Your genes may influence how much collagen you lose as you age. When the dermis produces less collagen, your skin's ability to repair itself diminishes, resulting in thin skin.

  • ultraviolet (UV) exposure 

The bulk of visible damage to the dermis, such as wrinkles, sagging, age spots, and thinning skin, is caused by sun exposure. Sun damage develops over time as a consequence of prolonged exposure to the sun. The hands, arms, and face are the areas of the body with the thinnest skin. These are the regions of your body that are more likely to be exposed to the elements during your life. 

The use of tanning beds dramatically increases the amount of UV damage to the skin. Premature ageing of the skin can be caused by a variety of lifestyle factors. These are some of the lifestyle elements to consider: 

  • A diet that is low in fresh fruits and vegetables but rich in sugar and refined carbohydrates due to smoking and alcohol uses a diet that is low in fresh fruits and vegetables but high in sugar and processed carbohydrates.


Microneedling, injectable skin and dermal fillers, laser resurfacing, strong pulsed light, and photodynamic therapy are some of the in-office procedures. 

  • Microneedling 

For skin rejuvenation, microneedling or dermarolling can be done at home or in a doctor's office. Dermarollers with far longer needles than those available for at-home use are used by doctors. This can be useful for folks seeking substantial changes in their skin. Your doctor will apply a topical anaesthetic to your skin before rolling a hand-held roller with extremely small needles over it. 

The needles cause minor bleeding, but they do not harm the skin. Collagen production is increased as a result of multiple treatments over time. This improves the flexibility and suppleness of the skin. 

  • Skin and dermal fillers that can be injected 

A number of skin and dermal fillers are available to replace lost volume in the skin and give it a plumper, more youthful appearance. While most are solely used on the face, some are also used on the hands. 

Some fillers have an instant effect that might last up to two years. Other fillers necessitate many procedures to achieve benefits that can be seen in a matter of months. Your doctor will advise you on the appropriate fillers for your skin. 

  • Treatments for laser resurfacing 

There are a variety of in-office laser treatments that can assist to minimise the visible signs of ageing caused by UV exposure. Ablative lasers melt tissue and create spectacular results, although they do take longer to recover from. Non-ablative lasers have a more modest effect and require little to no downtime. 

  • Photodynamic treatment and intense pulsed light 

IPL (intense pulsed light) is a skin rejuvenation therapy that uses light. It concentrates the light of a specific wavelength onto the skin. Photofacial is a term used to describe IPL. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a type of light-based treatment that is more intensive. A topical photosensitive substance is applied to the skin first. 

To notice effects, both therapies take many sessions. Both treatments promote collagen formation, which may help to lessen the visual symptoms of UV damage. IPL and PDT can be used on the face, neck, chest, and hands with no side effects. 

Treatments at home 

Applying prescription retinoids to your skin and consuming supplements are two treatments that can be done at home. 

  • Topical retinoids on prescription 

Vitamin A-derived retinoids are a type of medicine. Topical retinoids prescribed by a doctor are particularly efficient at reducing and preventing obvious signs of skin damage caused by UV exposure. 

Your dermatologist can help you choose the right retinoid or product for your skin. A person who utilises topical retinoids for a long time may get the following symptoms: 

  • Dryness of the skin
  • redness of the skin
  • scaling of the skin
  • itching 
  • Nutritional supplements and diet 

It is critical for the health of your skin to eat a well-balanced diet. Fruits, vegetables, seafood, oils, and meats include many of the important components for good skin. 

The following nutritional supplements have been recommended for anti-ageing skin effects: 

  • both oral and topical vitamin C 
  • Evening primrose oil, 
  • gamma-linolenic acid (GLA)
  • collagen peptides.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids 

Before you start taking a supplement, make sure to talk to your doctor. Some supplements have the potential to interfere with the medications you're taking. 

Take Away

A person with thin skin is more likely to bruise, cut, or scrape their skin. There are steps you can do to reduce the likelihood of these injuries. 

  • Wear clothing to protect susceptible body areas such as your arms and legs, which might easily be bumped against things in your home. 
  • Consider wearing gloves to protect your hands' delicate skin. 
  • To protect your forearms, try wearing socks over them. 
  • To avoid unintentional bruising, scratches, and scrapes, move slowly and cautiously. 
  • Soft padding should be used to cushion the harsh edges of furniture and entrances. 
  • Keep your pet's nails clipped. 
  • Maintain a healthy level of moisture in your skin.