Read below about skin thinning, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your skin thinning from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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3 Potential Skin Thinning Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.Cushing Syndrome

    Cushing Syndrome is a hormonal disorder. The cause is long-term exposure to too much cortisol, a hormone that the adrenal gland makes. Sometimes, taking synthetic hormone medicine like corticosteroids to treat an inflammatory disease leads to Cushing's syndrome.

    Recovery depends on treatment method

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, depressed mood, weight gain, back pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

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  2. 2.Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma

    Adrenocortical carcinoma is an aggressive cancer of the adrenal glands. The cancer has often invaded nearby tissues or metastasized to distant organs at the time of diagnosis, and the overall 5-year survival rate is only 20-35%.

    Recovery from surgery is expected. Untreated, the condition is life-threatening.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, loss of appetite, weight gain, trouble sleeping, unintentional weight loss
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Adrenal Cortical Adenoma

    This is a benign non-cancerous growth (tumor) of the outside layer of the adrenal gland, called the adrenal cortex. An adenoma can secrete high levels of hormones cortisol, aldosterone, and estrogens or androgens. This can cause a variety of symptoms such as weight gain, easy bruising, and emotional changes (irritability, restlessness, depression).

    Variable, good prognosis after surgical intervention.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, side pain, weight gain, general abdominal pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

FAQs About Skin Thinning

Here are some frequently asked questions about skin thinning.

Can skin thinning be reversed?

Aging, sun exposure, genetics, and medications like steroids are common causes of skin thinning. The reversibility of skin thinning depends on the etiology of the thinning. Thinning due to aging is less likely to be reversible than thinning secondary to steroids, as stopping the medication can lead to improvements. All-trans retinol can help to thicken skin.

What does skin thinning look like?

Thin skin is characterized by increased elasticity, permeability, and translucency. Blood vasculature can be more easily seen and thin skin tears and bruises more easily.

Does skin thin with age?

Yes, skin thins with age. The three main components of skin — epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous layers — lose their strength and viability over time.

Can menopause cause my skin to thin?

Yes, skin thinning is a well-documented result of menopause. Estrogen is an important regulator of skin thickness, and loss of estrogen in postmenopausal women can lead to epidermal thinning.

Why is my skin thinning and bruising more?

Skin thinning and bruising tend to go hand-in-hand as decreased skin thickness leads to an increased likelihood of damage to the body's vasculature with minor bumps and contact. There are many causes of skin thinning including aging and hormonal changes.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Skin Thinning

  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Have you had any changes in your weight?
  • Q.Have you noticed a decrease in your libido or sex drive?
  • Q.Take a look at your neck area. Do you have an increase in tissue above your collarbone? Here's a photo to clarify what I'm looking for.

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our skin thinning symptom checker to find out more.

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Skin Thinning Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced skin thinning have also experienced:

    • 8% Fatigue
    • 7% Dry Skin
    • 3% Vaginal Itch or Burning
  • People who have experienced skin thinning were most often matched with:

    • 23% Cushing Syndrome
    • 23% Adrenal Cortical Carcinoma
    • 23% Adrenal Cortical Adenoma
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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