Learn more about how to treat crepey skin

We typically associate wrinkles with aging skin. But as you get older, your skin can change in other ways. If it appears to be getting looser and thinner, you could have crepey skin. Fortunately, crepey skin doesn’t have to be inevitable. Taking preventive steps now can help keep your skin supple longer.

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What Is Crepey Skin?

As its name suggests, crepey skin resembles the crepe paper from which streamers are made — it’s loose, thin, and slightly wrinkled.

You’re most likely to notice crepey skin on your arms, hands, and neck. It’s more common as you get older and begins to appear after age 40.

However, other factors can raise your risk of developing crepey skin at a younger age, including frequent use of tanning beds and steroid medications such as prednisone. You can also develop crepey skin if you lose large amounts of weight.

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Tips for Smoother Skin

While you can’t prevent crepey skin altogether, you may be able to delay it. Try these tips to help keep skin firmer and healthier as you age.

  • Don’t tan. Sun damage can cause skin to age prematurely, so avoid tanning beds and stay in the shade when you’re outdoors. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to help protect skin from the sun’s damaging ultraviolet rays.
  • Moisturize. Dry, damaged skin is more likely to appear crepey, so use a moisturizer to keep it hydrated.
  • Read labels. Look for products that contain salicylic acid, lactic acid, or glycolic acid, which can diminish the appearance of crepey skin. Topical retinol products also may help.

Consult a dermatologist. An expert can give you advice on reducing the appearance of crepey skin, including cosmetic procedures.

About Dermatology

The UPMC Department of Dermatology diagnoses, treats, and manages numerous hair, skin, and nail conditions and diseases. We care for common and uncommon conditions, and our treatments include both surgical and nonsurgical options. We operate several specialty centers for various conditions. The UPMC Cosmetic Surgery and Skin Health Center is a comprehensive dermatologic laser facility, offering a full range of cosmetic services and procedures. With UPMC Hillman Cancer Center, we offer a Skin Cancer Program that provides complete care from screenings, diagnosis, treatment, and beyond. Find a dermatology provider near you.