The term crepey skin refers to when the skin looks thin and wrinkled and similar in appearance to crepe paper.
Although it is similar to wrinkles in many ways, crepey skin is not necessarily linked to old age. However, as people age, their skin can become more loose and flaccid.
Crepey skin typically affects large areas of skin and can make it noticeably more fragile and thin.
Fast facts on crepey skin:
Some over-the-counter products can help with different types of crepey skin.
People can make lifestyle changes to try and prevent crepey skin.
Hydration of the skin should also be a priority in preventing crepey skin.
Medical News Today Newsletter
Stay in the know. Get our free daily newsletter
Expect in-depth, science-backed toplines of our best stories every day. Tap in and keep your curiosity satisfied.
Your privacy is important to us
What are the causes?
Crepey skin is characterized by skin that appears thin and wrinkled. It may be caused by aging or sun damage.
Both skin type and genetics can determine whether a person gets crepey skin and it is more common in older people, not usually appearing until people are at least in their 40s.
However, the most common cause of crepey skin is from ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The American Association of Dermatology says that exposure to UV radiation is the most preventable cause of early skin damage.
The damage can result either from exposure to the sun or the use of tanning beds.
Over time, the UV radiation will break down the elastin fibers in the skin, which allow the skin to stretch and return to its normal position.
While those fibers can heal, long-term exposure to UV radiation may mean that they are unable to repair completely.
People with fair skin are particularly susceptible to crepey skin, wrinkles, skin damage, and even skin cancer caused by the exposure to UV radiation.
Other causes of crepey skin include:
gaining and losing substantial amounts of weight
lack of moisture in the skin
some medications, such as prednisone
There are many different treatments for crepey skin depending on how severe it is, what has caused it, and where it occurs on the body. People who have crepey skin can speak to their dermatologist to find out what is the best course of treatment for them.