Special Report

15 Things That Happen to Your Skin as You Get Older

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6. It bruises easily

Bruising is common in older adults because the skin is thinner. Due to the loss of some of the fat that protects the blood vessels from injuries, blood vessels can break more easily with blood leaking out, forming a bruise.

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7. It becomes rough, dry, and itchy

Sebaceous glands, which are responsible for lubricating the skin, produce less oil with age. This is visible mostly in older women, whose glands gradually start making less oil after menopause. The lower levels of sebum, the oily matter secreted by the gland, means lower levels of moisture in the skin, which can cause dryness and itchiness.

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8. It retains more heat

Older people sweat less than younger adults because sweat glands become less efficient over time, producing less sweat, which makes controlling body temperature more difficult. The risk of overheating and heat strokes increases with age.

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9. It grows cherry bumps

Cherry bumps, also known as cherry angiomas, look like red moles. They are the result of an overgrowth of capillaries. Most common among people older than 30, they are basically dilated blood vessels that often show up on the chest, stomach, or back. Why exactly they develop is not clear, but they are not a cause of concern, unless they bleed often or change color or size.

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10. It becomes less responsive to some meds

The innermost layer of the skin consists of fat and connective tissue. Because it contains many blood vessels and nerves, it easily absorbs medications. Some medications, such as those for acne and dermatitis, are absorbed by the fat layer that the skin thins out as people age. Hence, the meds are less effective.