Crepey Skin: Causes, Risk Factors And And How To Fix It

Crepey skin is a form of skin condition that looks wrinkled and thin like crepe paper. Check out its causes, treatment and prevention tips here.

Crepey skin

Crepey Skin: A General Overview

Crepey skin is a form of skin condition that occurs when the skin starts to look wrinkled, thin, and similar physical appearance to that of crepe paper. While it can seem like crepey skin is the same as wrinkles, having crepey skin is not associated solely with the aging process. It must be noted though that as people get older, the skin can become more flaccid and loose. Crepey skin is commonly observed in large portions of the skin and can have the skin seem thinner and much more fragile.

Crepey Skin: Possible Causes

Two of the major factors of crepey skin is genetics and skin type. Age can also be a factor as older people can have an increased risk of developing crepey skin, although it has been noted that this kind of skin won’t start to appear until individuals reach their 40s at least. However, one of the main causes of skin that is crepey is the exposure of the skin to ultraviolet (UV) radiation. The AAD or the American Association of Dermatology states that UV radiation exposure is one of the causes of damage to skin that can be prevented easily.

This kind of UV exposure commonly happens to individuals using tanning beds and those exposed to the UV rays of the sun. The UV radiation will over time lead to the breakdown of the skin’s elastin fibers, fibers that allow the skin to get stretched and to go back to its regular position. While the healing of the said fibers can still happen, exposure to UV radiation in the long term may result in these fibers unable to heal or repair completely.

Individuals with fair skin complexion may be more prone to skin cancer, skin damage, wrinkles, and crepey skin caused by UV radiation exposure. Other possible risk factors for the development of crepey skin include poor nutrition, pollution, sleep deprivation, smoking, prednisone, and other similar medications, skin’s lack of moisture, amounts of weight that are substantially lost or gained.

Crepey Skin: Treatment And Fix It Options

Different treatment options to address crepey skin are available to individuals and will be based on where it occurred in the body, the causes or factors behind it, and the severity of the skin condition. Below are some of the possible treatment or fix-it options for skin that is crepey:

Over-The-Counter (OTC) medications or items

Several products available over the counter (OTC) that contain retinol also contain vitamin A which can help nourish skin suffering from the above-mentioned skin condition. Other items to consider should have tartaric acid, citric acid, malic acid, lactic acid, glycolic acid, and other alpha hydroxy acids. Individuals are reminded though that people should utilize the said products based on the directions for use and cease the use of these items if they start burning or stinging the skin. Also, people should put a limit on the number of products being utilized at any given time. Lastly, these OTC products will need some time for results to start showing with some needing several months to do just that.

Prescription drugs or products

One topical prescription product is Tretinoin, a type of cream that can be directly applied to the area or the portion of the skin that is affected. It is also a member of the family of vitamin A and is commonly utilized to protect the facial skin from exposure to ultraviolet radiation. Other forms of prescription treatment may also have vitamin C that is stabilized.

Ultrasound or radiofrequency

Dermatologists and other skin experts utilize pulsed light devices (laser treatment), ultrasound, and other radiofrequency devices to address skin that is crepey moving from the inside to the external layers of the skin. The device can make small skin areas to be heated up and placing on the deep skin energy. The procedure can aid in having collagen remodeled resulting in skin that is much tighter. Some skin areas that are connected to the muscles (including the upper arms) won’t be responding to this form of treatment well unlike the neck and the face. This kind of treatment formerly needed some anesthesia as it can be quite painful but since the advancement of medical technology, individuals can now have this procedure conducted on them without the need for any anesthesia.


Radiesse and other fillers have been observed to be effective in treating skin that is crepey especially in the upper arms. The fillers can be introduced into the skin via injection and can have an effect that is volumizing to the skin and at the same time, still, be a procedure that is considered non-invasive.


Surgical treatments are mostly done on individuals who lost significant amounts of weight and were left with crepey skin that is excessive. A healthcare professional such as a plastic surgeon may operate on the patient to have skin removed. It must be noted though, that people need to consider this option very carefully as it does have risks. 

Prevention of Crepey Skin

Below are some of the tips to help prevent crepey skin from ever happening in the first place:

  1. Sunscreen and Sun protection- The most effective strategy in the prevention of skin that is crepey is to have the skin protected from the harmful UV rays of the sun through the application of sunscreen, wearing of clothing that is sun protective, and by seeking shade when outside.
  2. Hydration-  Individuals should maintain their skin’s moisture by ensuring that water is trapped or sealed in via a good moisturizer.
  3. Nutrition- The food items people consume can also have an impact on the skin health of individuals. As such, people are reminded to consume food items that contain antioxidants, vitamins E, D, and A, and omega-3 Fatty acids.
Crepey Skin Causes

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