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Signs of Aging Skin: Understanding Skin Health

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Feb 16, 2023

    Signs of Aging Skin: Understanding Skin Health

    No matter how hard people try to avoid it, we all age as part of life. Our skin changes, evidently manifesting with the signs of aging skin. 

    Over time, you may notice how your skin thins out, loses fat, plumpness, as well as its smooth appearance. Your veins and bones will become more visible. Likewise, it would take a while for scratches, wounds, and bruises to heal. Years of sun tanning or prolonged exposure to sunlight can cause wrinkles, dryness, age spots, and even cancer.

    Types of Skin Aging

    There are two kinds of aging processes: intrinsic aging and extrinsic aging.

    Intrinsic or chronological aging refers to the clinical, histological, and physiological changes that take place in the entire body’s skin. This includes the sun-protected areas of the body. Whereas, extrinsic aging is characterized by other external factors that come into play, such as:

  • Persistent UV (ultraviolet) radiation exposure
  • Smoking
  • Other pollutants and external factors
  • Skin that is older repairs itself at a slower rate than skin that is younger. Wound healing can take up to four times longer. This increases the risk of pressure ulcers and infections. Diabetes, blood vessel abnormalities, weakened immunity, and other variables all have an impact on healing.

    Seeing the Visible Signs of Aging Skin

    There are several signs of aging skin that you should look out for. The most common ones are:


    One of the main signs of aging skin that can be observed is wrinkle formation on your face, neck, back of the hands, and arms.  

    Environmental factors, such as the ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun, can cause the skin to become less elastic. Skin can sag and wrinkle as a result of gravity. Certain habits, such as smoking, can also cause wrinkles in the skin.

    Dry Skin and Itching

    Many elderly people struggle with signs of aging skin such as dryness, particularly on their lower legs, elbows, and lower arms. These dry skin patches tend to feel rough and scaly. 

    In some cases, medical conditions such as diabetes or renal disease might be the ones to blame. Or, it could be the medications you take that irritate your skin. But, more often than not, the excessive use of soap, antiperspirant, perfume, as well as long hot baths can bring irritation.

    When your skin is too dry, a simple scratch can cause bleeding and infection as your epidermis continues to become thinner. 

    Age Spots

    Age spots, often known as “liver spots,” are flat, brown spots formed by years of sun exposure. They are larger than freckles and can be found on the face, hands, arms, back, and feet. 

    Skin Tags

    On the other hand, skin tags are tiny, flesh-colored skin growths with a raised surface. They become more common as people age, particularly in women, on the eyelids, neck, and body folds like the armpit, chest, and groin.

    Skin tags can become itchy at times.


    Older people are more prone to bruises than younger people.  These bruises may take longer to heal than usual.

    For the most part, you may also notice your skin to be:

    • Fragile. Flattening of the area where the epidermis and dermis meet causes increased skin fragility.
    • Slack. With age, the loss of elastic tissue (elastin and collagen) in the skin leads it to become slack and hang loosely.
    • Transparent. The thinning of both the epidermis and dermis causes the skin to look and feel transparent. 

    Furthermore, skin lesions, such as benign tumors, are more likely to develop.

    What Can You Do About the Signs of Aging Skin?

    As you get old, it becomes necessary to take care of your skin to prevent these visible marks and spots from showing. Incorporating a good sunscreen into your daily regimen can help prevent sun exposure that can result in wrinkles and age spots. And while you’re at it, make sure to cover up with a hat and other protective clothing.

    Applying your daily moisturizer can help in the dryness of your skin. Drinking a good amount of water on a regular basis keeps your skin hydrated and moisturized as well. Moreover, eating nutritious food would help your skin to be fresh and glowing even from within.


    For any concerns about signs of aging skin, consult a dermatologist. Never self-medicate or treat a condition without medical advice.

    Learn more about skin health here


    Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    Medically reviewed by

    Jezreel Esguerra, MD

    General Practitioner

    Written by Fiel Tugade · Updated Feb 16, 2023

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