The Causes of Paper Thin Skin, and What You Can Do to Make Skin Thicker and More Flexible

The causes of paper thin skin are well known. Researchers have understood for many years what causes the problem. However, they aren’t quick to offer solutions. Sometimes they seem to be saying it’s a necessary part of aging and you just have to live with it.

Not true!

Here is a guide to what works when your skin is paper thin.

Thin skin problems can be severe

You may consider thin skin a minor issue. You might feel that you simply cut and bruise too easily, and take longer than most people to heal. But thin skin can be treated, and should be. Especially if you feel that your skin is really “paper thin.”

Here is why. You know your own body. If feel your skin is “paper thin,” that is probably close to the truth. And that can be a very bad thing.

You may be easily wounded and exposing yourself to bigger health issues. It may take weeks for your body to heal a minor bruise or cut that disappears in a couple of days for most people. A severe bruise, or scraping your skin badly from a fall, for example, might very well put you in the hospital.

The causes of thin skin

If you have a history of long-term illness, you may have taken steroid medications like Predisone. These anti-inflammatory drugs can be life savers. But they have terrible side effects — especially if they are used over a long period. A weak immune system, cataracts, weakened bones — and yes, thin, fragile skin — are some of them.

For most people, the problem is not so much illness and over-use of prescription drugs, but lack of skin nutrition. Your skin loses collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid — and you need an abundance of all of these to build youthful, healthy skin. As skin ages, it loses strength and elasticity, begins to sag and wrinkle, and gets much thinner.

The answer to the problem

You can reverse all the most important causes of skin aging and thinning. A couple of strategies will help, and I’ll tell you the specific ingredients to look for in a skin care product.

1. Your diet matters. If you’re more likely to grab a cookie and a bottle of soda pop than a meal when you get hungry, that’s bad news for your skin. Sugar has many nasty habits, and one of them is to cause something called glycation. The process of glycation underlies the destruction of collagen and other proteins in the skin. The answer is to cut back hard on added sugar in your food and drinks.

2. Supplements can help, too. Take one containing at least 50 mg a day of Carnosine, which both prevents glycation and stops it once it has begun.

3. Skin care products can actually help your skin rebuild itself — if they contain the right ingredients. You need plenty of collagen to thicken and strengthen your skin. You can’t rub it in — collagen is too big a molecule to be absorbed through the skin.

But you can stimulate the skin to boost its own production of collagen and elastin, and to grow new cells faster. An ingredient called Cynergy TK has shown in clinical trials that it does all of these things.

The problem with hyaluronic acid (or hyaluronan) is that it gets used up fast. You have to replace a third of it every day. You can give your skin a break by using an extract of seaweed called Phytessence Wakame. It blocks the action of a skin enzyme that destroys hyaluronic acid. Phytessence Wakame blocked the enzyme’s action by 52 percent in trials. This allows the skin to rebuild its hyaluronic acid levels.

See my website for more on the causes and treatment of paper thin skin.