are a number of changes affecting your skin as the years pass. Although these
changes are perfectly normal, it’s not always easy to deal with. For example,
getting older would be a real itch for some people. So, does aging skin have a
role to cause itching?
Your skin changes with age
human body will change naturally over time. The main components of the body
(e.g. bones, lean tissues (including organs and muscles), fats, and skin)
change as you get older. This occurs due to changes of individual cells or/and
whole organs of your body .
wives’ tale say life is about change. And this is going clearly as you age, in
which your skin is the proof. In time, it’s not uncommon to see a number of
changes of your skin – some of them are as follows:
skin is likely to become slack, rougher, and thinner (more transparent). These
usually occur due to thinning of epidermis and decline in elastin (your elastic
also tends to be more susceptible to bruising and become more fragile because
of thinner blood vessel walls and thinner epidermis.
on the face. For examples loose skin around the cheeks, jawline, or eyes.
spots, typically characterized by dark patches and commonly on the areas
exposed a lot to the sunlight such as hands, arms, shoulders, and face. They
are more common after 50.
skin lesions, like cherry angiomas and seborrheic keratosis.
changes are not only about the appearance above the skin, these also affect
below the skin. For examples;
likely to have loss of cartilage in the nose, making drooping nose more likely.
puckering around the mouth. This is likely to occur if you have bone loss
around the chin and mouth.
look of ‘skeletal’ appearance and sunken eyes. With age, you will have a
decline in fat volume below the skin (including in the nose, eye, chin,
temples, and cheeks).
It seems aging skin is an inevitable thing for everyone, and how fast you get it is dependent on several factors. You can’t stop the process, but your lifestyle choices may provoke or slow it down.
say poor diet, harsh weather, air pollution, UV rays, bad stress management, or
bad habits (e.g. smoking and lack of sleep) – all these things would make
premature aging skin more likely.
Does aging skin cause itching?
a medical term to call an itch, is a general irritating and uncomfortable
sensation on the skin that provokes the urge to scratch. This nuisance sensation
may arise from the irritation of nerve cell connected to the skin or from the
skin cell itself .
It is actually
an important part of the body’s protective mechanism since it gives an alert to
bad external agents. But many times it is going to become a lot
counterproductive, especially for the health of the skin itself.
first, the itchy skin usually looks normal (depending on the underlying cause).
But when you scratch it, it’s likely to become red, rough, or even bumpy. And
if left untreated, repeated scratching will make the problem get worse,
resulting in increased thick areas of the affected skin (this might become
infected or bleed in severe cases).
skin is unique. Unlike other organs of the body, you can feel pain and itchy
sensation on it. Other organs also can hurt, but they don’t feel itch.
Scratching may relieve your nuisance for a while. It feels good, distracting the mind from that nuisance. But although you may feel a bit better, this only lasts in a very brief period of time and then the problem is likely to get worse particularly true if you don’t stop scratching!
factors (both internal and external factors) can contribute to cause itching .
- Something inside the body such as skin conditions (like eczema), nerve disorders, internal diseases (kidney and thyroid disorders), psychiatric problems (stress or anxiety), and even pregnancy.
- External factors. For examples; negative reaction to certain medications, chemicals, parasites, wool, or harsh soaps.
How about aging skin? In addition to changes of the
skin as mentioned earlier, aging skin in time could be a real itch. Many
elderly people find that their skin become supersensitive and easy to get itchy.
itchy sensation with age is probably not fully understood yet. It may have to
do with several factors such as menopause, histamine, chronic inflammation, psychiatric
causes, dermatological causes (especially dry skin), medication-induced pruritus,
certain health conditions, or something
else (sometimes the exact cause is unidentifiable) .
common cause of these is menopause. Itchiness is a common thing around menopause
in which hormonal changes are to blame. Estrogen, a hormone that plays a key
role to your skin health, decreases with menopause. This increases the risk of
several skin complaints, including itchiness .
common culprit is probably the release of excess histamine, a chemical of your
own body immune system. We can say it acts like a bodyguard at a club. But
sometimes histamine works counterproductively, leading to several problems such
have inflammation in the skin, the body naturally releases histamine – and this
turn on an itch response . Skin inflammation has many
causes, the common ones include; allergic reaction, heat, sunlight (photosensitivity),
infection, or immune system abnormality.
with aging skin is more challenging since it’s also likely associated with chronic itch, a condition in which the
problem has nothing to do with a ‘foreign substance’ trigger. Instead, chronic
itch can flare up even with light pressure to the skin.
study with mice shows that chronic itch in elderly people might have a
connection to Merkel cells, oval-shaped mechanoreceptors found in the basal
layer of your epidermis . Merkel
cells are likely to decline in time, and this might make touch-related itchiness
you age could be very bothersome. But there are also plenty of ways to help
ease the problem, these include: