Can Crepey Skin Be Permanently Treated?

I'm developing crepey skin on my hands and elbows and front of upper thighs. I've had Radiesse and a fraxel dual treatment on my hands with no improvement in the crepiness or loss of elasticity. Since I don't understand what makes skin crepey, can it be fixed? Is there a permanent solution?

Doctor Answers 9

Crepey Skin Treatment

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Thanks for the question.

Crepey skin represents a gradual reduction in organized collagen bundles in the dermal layer of the skin. This can come about through the natural aging process as well as other etiologies, such as massive weight loss, or chronic corticosteroid use.

There is no "magic bullet" for treating this problem. The goal, ultimately would be to boost body collagen production. This can be achieved, to a degree, with fractionated laser resurfacing, collagen induction therapy, and a sound skin care program along with oral nutriceauticals. Complete eradication of crepey skin at present is not possible, although innovation in skin regeneration may bring hope in the years to come. 

Best of luck,

Glenn Vallecillos, MD, FACS

Beverly Hills Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Crepey skin, especially hands, elbows, and front of thighs, is difficult to help.

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Also, each of these areas is different. Elbows look crepey because the skin is constantly stretched and relaxed as we move our arms. Aging, with its attendant loss of skin elasticity and collagen content, only makes the skin in this area look more wrinkled and thinned. No treatment is going to make any real changes that are worthwhile--just say "NO!" and save your money!

The front of the thighs (near the knees): same answer . . . BUT, a thigh lift can tighten loose skin of the entire thigh and improve the "cellulite" look for the rest of the thigh skin. The knee still needs to bend, however, so be realistic in your expectations.

The hands look aged because of loss of volume, and only fat grafting has been shown to be of any value in improving the aged hand. Other treatments are essentially worthless, but spots and lesions can be treated by laser (which won't help the crepey or wrinkled skin look). Fat grafting needs to be done by someone skilled in the details and technique of proper fat harvest--you can't just take damaged fat cells from liposuction, inject them, and expect uniform "take" of the fat cells when many of them are destroyed in the liposuction procedure.

Richard H. Tholen, MD, FACS
Minneapolis Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 263 reviews

Crepy skin

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Most of the time crepy skin comes with age or some medication such as long term cortisone intake.

Treatment is very difficult. You will not change the skin with fillers. Fraxel and thermage are junk medicine.

you may try light Retin A and Glycolic acid. Depending on your color of skin light peels may improve the skin. Another modality, also depend on your skin is very light Fractional CO2 Laser, but has to be done several times. Can be expensive.

Samir Shureih, MD
Baltimore Plastic Surgeon

Challenging skin laxity

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Skin laxity occurs in everyone over time, although some have onset earlier in life, and more significant changes than others.  There is no "permanent" fix for this natural aging change, unfortunately, although some improvement can be made in the hands with fat grafting and laser peels.  The process of loss of elastin fibers is progressive and irreversible, accompanied by thinning of the skin and loss of normal fat content.  Some benefit is possible, but it is limited, and nothing is permanent.

Anti-ageing: no permanent fix

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As a rule, there are no permanent fixes when it comes to combating the signs of ageing. Some treatments, like botulinum toxins and fillers, do have effects which wear off over a period of time. Others, like laser treatments, trigger a response from the body to regenerate and repair. 
Ageing and ongoing exposure to uv, pollutants and gravity continue regardless. 
Your best bet is to maximise your uv protection, use retinol in your skin care and consider any additional treatments as add-on.
Run if someone promises a permanent cure.

Chien C. Kat, FRCS
Birmingham Plastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 100 reviews

Crepey Skin Treatment

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The simple answer is to an extent, yes, you can reverse some but not all of the aging process.
As you age, skin cells lose their ability to make collagen and progressively die off rather than reproducing themselves (“DNA programmed cell death with age”).The Sciton Laser Platform allows multiple laser types and wavelengths to achieve both dramatic improvements of your skin but also maintaining its youthful appearance by reversing this process. For more information see the below link.

Crepy Skin

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Crepy skin on the arms and body is very difficult to treat. Be cautious of recommended solutions as most can cause more harm than good.

Steven Hacker, MD
West Palm Beach Dermatologic Surgeon

Creepy skin

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I wish there was a single, reliable, permanent solution to crepey skin. The best interventions are...

1. Sunscreen. Meticulous sunscreen is important to prevent worsening of skin texture. 

2. Collagen stimulating treatments like injectable PDO threads, Ultherapy (ultrasound), and peels. 

Unfortunately there are no permanent treatments, only treatments that can improve things for 6-12 months.

Dana Goldberg, MD
Jupiter Plastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 41 reviews

Crepey Skin in elbows, thighs, hands

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These ares of crepey skin are very difficult to treat.  There are times when you are very fortunate and Thermage and Fraxel work remarkably well.  There are other times when the skin is just too lax and nothing works well.  Surgery leaves terrible scars in these areas and is not a viable option for most patients looking for an aesthetically pleasing result.  Each case must be individually reviewed and decided since there is no one magic answer for this condition.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.