Damaged skin can be described as; dry skin, ageing skin, skin breakouts, skin pigmentation problems, sun-damaged skin and skin sensitivity.
The dermis is richly supplied with blood vessels, sweat and oil glands, and nerve endings that help to maintain a healthy (outer skin layer), the epidermis.
Healthy human skin is smooth, is free from diseases, hydrated and without breaks in the sub-surface. It is warm (not hot or red) and neither dry and flaky nor moist and wrinkled. Therefore, healthy skin is like a mirror of a healthy body.
How can you tell if your skin is damaged?
- How can you tell if your skin is damaged?
- Signs and symptoms of damaged skin
- How your skin gets damaged or causes of a damaged skin
- How to deal with damaged skin – remedies and treatments for damaged skin
Skin damage can be manifested in a number of ways. While most of them are revealed by a physical examination, some of these may require clinical tests for detailed information.
How you can tell your skin is damaged:
- Reduced elasticity sagging or stretchy-looking skin
- Poor collagen production
- Poor wound healing or wounds that take longer to heal even when they are small
- Uneven skin tone
Signs and symptoms of damaged skin
These signs may help reveal how your skin is damaged.
- Severe redness, itching, or soreness
- Clear or yellow fluid that oozes from the skin
- Blisters or pus-filled bumps
- Swollen glands in the neck, armpit, or groin
- Dryness with scaly skin appearance
Some of these symptoms such as formation of wrinkles and dryness are common on areas which are exposed including the arms, face, neck and chest (cleavage) area not forgetting the feet.
How your skin gets damaged or causes of a damaged skin
These are some of the ways through which the human skin can get damaged.
Harmful UV radiation (sun-damaged skin)
Over exposure of the skin to the sun is the major cause of damaged skin. That’s because the sun gives off ultraviolet (UV) light that damages your skin and causes sunburn. Over time, these rays can lead to wrinkles, dark spots, and other problem areas.
Research reveals that UV exposure is the reason behind 80% of skin’s damage and photo-aging.
Skin conditions associated with UV radiation include sunburn, dry skin and wrinkles, freckles and actinic keratosis (which is more likely precancerous).
Besides, sun tanning, tanning beds and lumps can considerably cause skin damage.
There is a likelihood that your skin may get damaged easily if you have a fair skin. Cases of skin damage in children are more than adults.
Smoking and drinking or alcoholism
Smoking cigarettes, drinking too much alcohol, extreme temperatures, and a host of noxious chemicals and pollutants in the air outside can also damage skin.
Chronic stress is another known skin irritant, which can make your skin highly reactive and result in outbreaks of pimples, acne, or trigger rosacea.
Deprivation of sleep
Lack of sleep makes your skin puffy, ashen, and pale, and accentuates the deep reddish-blue of under eye circles.
A poor diet lacking in immune-boosting nutrients can make your skin appear sallow, overly dry, or even too oily.
And exercise obsession can result in hormone imbalance even in college-age women, which can lead to osteopenia (pre-osteoporosis) with thin bones that fracture easily. Strong bones are essential to stretch your skin and keep it taut through the years, and tight skin is younger looking skin.
Skin conditions like eczema
Eczema can make your skin so cracked and scaly that it breaks open. The itch can get intense enough to make you scratch until you bleed.
Other skin conditions that account for skin damage include:
- Perioral dermatitis
Other causes of skin damage
Other skin conditions that lead to skin damage include:
- Human infections involving the skin at large
- Environmental pollutants I for instance irritants
- Free radicals damage
- Facial expressions like frowning all time
How to deal with damaged skin – remedies and treatments for damaged skin
There are various ways of offering protection to your skin. Some of these are good measures against harmful environmental conditions.
Use ointments, creams and lotions
To prevent dryness and cracks, put a layer of moisturizer on your skin every day. You can choose from three types:
Ointments like petroleum jelly are thick, and they hold water into the skin. They also provide a barrier to keep out things that might irritate your skin. The downside is they can feel greasy.
Creams are also thick, and they’re less greasy than ointments. They do sometimes contain preservatives and other ingredients that can make your skin react if you’re sensitive to them.
Lotions don’t protect skin as well as ointments and creams because they’re thinner and they contain a lot of water. Once that water evaporates, your skin will dry out again.
Use sunscreen on regular basis
Use sunscreen consistently.
Overexposure to the sun can cause more damage to already damaged skin and may also prolong healing or cause hyperpigmentation scarring. Protect your skin by using a sunscreen with a sun protection factor of 15 or higher every day; reapply as directed by the manufacturer. Sunscreen helps to repair the damage to the skin before it gets worse.
Follow the experts’ advice on application of sunscreen in regard with your skin condition. However, remember that sunscreen totally cannot prevent skin cancer.
Antioxidants offer skin protection by helping neutralize the free-radical molecules.
Evidently, antioxidants may not help reverse skin damage after exposure. “UVR-induced skin damage is a rapid event, and antioxidants possibly prevent such damage only when present in relevant concentration…” [www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov]
According to the Hindawi Journal, antioxidants play a major role during oxidative stress. This helps to prevent skin cancer.
Protect more vulnerable skin
Wear gloves whenever you cook, wash dishes, or do the laundry.
The chemicals in cleaning products can irritate your skin. Put on cotton gloves for dry tasks like laundry. Use powder-free vinyl or neoprene gloves when your hands are in water. Avoid latex gloves, which can cause allergic reactions on your skin that may damage it.
Adjust your diet including lifestyle
Doctors at Craig Hospital advise their patients to eat a diet of lean proteins, carbohydrates and foods that provide the mineral zinc as well as vitamins A and C. These food choices will provide your body with the building blocks it needs to promote healing, replenish elasticity and restore skin strength.
Incorporate a clever workout regimen or regular exercise to promote growth, youthful and healthy skin.
Apply aloe Vera gel to your damaged skin
Aloe Vera gel has natural anti-inflammatory properties and has been shown to help burn patients heal approximately nine days sooner than patients who did not use aloe Vera gel. You can apply the gel directly to your skin from the plant.
Resist from applying aloe Vera on open bleeding wounds.
Drink sufficient water
Water helps in the repair of broken tissues and quick healing of the skin. The amount of water taken daily may vary with workouts, movement or vigorous exercise including occupation or profession.
Go for treatment
Under certain skin conditions one may require to go for treatment. These include:
Short pulses of concentrated light remove specific layers or areas of the skin to allow for regeneration of fresh, new skin beneath. There are a few different types of laser therapy, including CO2 and erbium laser resurfacing.
Over-the-counter and prescription treatments
The following treatments can be used to treat damaged skin.
Skin-lightening creams: Products with hydroquinone can lighten skin. Kojic and glycolic acids are two other ingredients that can help remove these marks, too.
Retinoid: Along with smoothing wrinkles, these compounds speed up the turnover of pigmented cells.
Cryotherapy: Liquid nitrogen freezes the area so that it peels away.
Chemical peels, microdermabrasion: These treatments can remove outer layers of skin so new, clear skin can come to the surface.
Most of these treatment forms do not give permanent results but there is great improvement basing on the before and after outcomes of optimal or successful treatment.
IMPORTANT: Prior to treatment it is highly recommended you go for consultation (board-certified dermatologist or expert).
Cut your nails short
When your nails are trimmed, you’ll be less likely to damage your skin if you scratch it.
- What are the most common causes of skin damage? https://www.sharecare.com/health/skin-disorders/common-causes-skin-damage
- Sun damage/results/environ skin care: environskincare.com/za/results/sun-damaged-skin/
- Can you reverse sun damage? webmd.com/melanoma-skin-cancer/skin-sun-damage-treatment
- Free Radicals and Extrinsic Skin Aging. Borut Poljšak, Raja Dahmane. Dermatol Res Pract. 2012; 2012: 135206. Published online 2012 Feb 29. doi: 10.1155/2012/135206. PMCID: PMC3299230
- Healing damaged skin/ sun damaged skin vaseline.us/skin-health-care/category/damaged-skin.html
- Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity. Aleksandar Godic, Borut Poljšak, Metka Adamic and Raja Dahmane. The Role of Antioxidants in Skin Cancer Prevention and Treatment. Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 860479.