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Aging Skin & Dry Skin

Q. I am a 61 year old female. I am also a nurse and informed on skin changes during the aging process. However, I have been experiencing something the last couple of years that does not seem to be addressed anywhere that I can find.

I know that the epidermis thins with aging. What I am wondering is; does this thinning contribute to the nerve endings being closed to the surface causing sensitivity to rougher clothing? By sensitivity, I do not mean a skin reaction. I mean the sensation of roughness.

I do not experience a rash or redness, just a tactile feeling of irritation. I would appreciate any input you have on this subject.

Thank You.

A. In general, aging skin does not necessarily lead to increased skin sensitivity but can lead to increased skin fragility and easier bruising.

It may be helpful to have a general blood work up done to rule out things such as autoimmune and collagen vascular diseases that can sometimes cause these symptoms.

Q. My skin gets very dry. Moisturizers don't seem to help much. Does drinking water and adding moisture from the inside help?

A. In healthy adults, drinking excess water does not increase moisture content in the skin.

There are many different types of moisturizers that may provide dry skin relief. Amlactin, an over-the-counter lotion containing lactic acid, helps to keep skin exfoliated and smooth while moisturizing.

Cera Ve cream and lotion contain ceramides which the skin cells use to repair the moisture barrier. When the moisture barrier of the skin is not functioning properly water can escape from cells which leads to dry skin. Both of these moisturizers are available at drug stores.

If your dry skin persists, a dermatologist may be able to prescribe products to provide further relief.

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