Why does skin heal more slowly the older you get?



I’m turning 40 this year, and I’m noticing that the nicks and cuts I’m used to getting which have always healed really quickly are leaving more scars and lasting longer than they have in the past. Im outdoors active, and accrue more than a few cuts often on my lower legs. Is this a natural part of growing old, which is in line with my observations of my parents’ skin as well, or am I not caring for my skin well?

In: Biology

Think of your cells dividing as a printer making paper copies. A copy can only be as good as the original but usually you lose a bit of quality.

Over time, the original document wears out and you’re making copies of copies. Each copies need to be a certain quality level or else they’re rejected. As you make more and more copies, the reject rate increases over time.

Your dividing cells undergo a check to make sure they’re copied properly. If they fail, they undergo planned cell suicide (apoptosis) and are recycled. As you age, a larger percentage of dividing cells fail the check because of DNA wearing out from copying, making it harder to increase the number of good cells to heal a wound.

As you’ve said, you are active outdoors. Meaning you probably get a bit of sun and sun is tough on our skin. This could have something to do with it.

Also age has a lot to do with it, you’re not old but your skin isn’t 20 anymore and add sun exposure the health of your akin could be 5 to 10 years ahead of your actual age.

Keep your skin moisturized and wear sun screen this will help preserve your skin health in the long run.

This may not be a factor but not knowing your health, diabetes can cause major slowing of healing, too, so I wanted to bring it up since it doesn’t seem to have been mentioned. If you know your blood sugar is good, then nevermind.

Older than you, not in great shape but cuts still heal as fast as when I was 20. I cook a lot so every couple of months I get a fresh knife cut. Takes just a week to get past the bandage stage and another couple to finish healing.

Could very well be diet, especially vitamin C and A.

We eat a lot of foods rich in A, use citrus juice in meals and take multivitamins. Our diet is also rich in foods that provide iron, zinc and copper. Plus the RDA of proteins from mostly healthy sources (red meat is a once a week item if that. Chicken & fish are most common).

Your skin doesn’t heal. It is connective tissue that stitch together places that have been damaged. The skin slowly grows back over the connective tissue in a process called remodeling. This is why you have scars and they slowly seem to go away.

Lower legs often have poor blood flow. They are the furthest place away from your heart and require a lot of work to return the blood from against gravity. Think of your veins and arteries as highways. If they aren’t well kept the traffic bringing healing supplies and removing damaged materials takes longer. I would see a doctor if the healing time is really noticably longer than it was in the past. There could be underlying events that could be caught and fixed before they become more severe.

Think of our skin like a rubber band and just like a rubber band that’s 10 years old, it starts becoming brittle, stale, stiff, and difficult to return to its original state.

I always find that taking a vitamin E pill helps skin heal faster and helps nails and hair grow faster too.

One word Elasticity! For example Stem cells, for instance, are known to decrease substantially over time, with only a fraction as many present in the body in adulthood as during childhood. These play important roles in regenerating the cells and tissues that may be lost or damaged with a wound or injury. Of course this is not the only culprit, decreased decreased collagen in the skin means it loses some of its flexibility, and can more easily tear or break. Skin also tends to thin with age, along with a redistribution or change in subcutaneous fat layers.

Circulation problems, caused by high blood pressure, diabetes, heart problems, vein disease, and related pathologies. In most cases, these conditions result in less complete circulation in the body, meaning nutrients and other vital substances are less effectively circulated and therefore less effectively available where they are needed for wound healing, skin and tissue health, and related purposes. These are just some examples of why our skin heals slower overtime. Also think about Diabetes, Clotting Disorders and also consider immunosuppressant drugs! These and other lifestyle factors all play a role as we age.😉

The turn over rate of cells is slower, there is less collagen and fat also.

The older you get the more fragile the skin becomes especially if you are a smoker, have alot if sun exposure and genetics.

When I worked in nursing homes and did home health care ; some very elderly residents/clients had skin so thin it would rip just by “sticking” to a surface since their sweat glands dont function normally.

There are many factors as to why our skin changes as we age.

Completely anecdotal, but last year I noticed I was accumulating injuries faster than they were healing(moving is a bitch) and that improved when I started eating more gelatin (real jello) and taking a biotin supplement. This spring I started taking them again when I noticed the same thing happening and it seems to be working.

You can get biotin gummies labeled as hair, skin & nails or sometimes just a “beauty”

It isn’t only the external skin that gets stiffer – the stiffness of the aorta is a greater predictor/risk-factor for death than age, due to the impact that blood pressure has on vascular system damage levels, and consequently nutritional distribution.

**Sugar** creates cross-linking – stinking proteins together, to make everything less elastic. **Bacon**, or otherwise the burnt sugared **browning** on meat, creates advanced glycation end (AGE) particles – which get stuck between cells, effectively speckling you with gravel. So people that eat browning become browner/harder themselves.

Repairing DNA damage from sunburn will consume a lot of body resources, and generally leads to aging – disrupting things like skin moisture levels, for example.

If you are curious about Longevity, check out the [subreddit](https://www.reddit.com/r/longevity/).

All the things posted are mostly correct… Yet one your age and mine(54) can supplement with HgH or HgH Peptides and all your stuff will heal in record time.

Also check your BS levels, you may have an elevated A1C and that can be messing with your ability to heal from cuts and scratches. One of my own first signs was the slower healing from a cut I received.

You might want to test your hormones. Testosterone deficit (below 400 ng/dl or so) and hypothyroidism (TSH > 3.5), measured soon after your normal wake-up time, can both cause this.

I was diagnosed with hypothyroidism last year, and upon starting medication, several symptoms I had previously thought were due to aging just disappeared.