Skin atrophy is a pathological condition in which physiological processes on the surface of the integument and in its deep layers slow down or even stop altogether. In the absence of proper treatment, the situation can be greatly aggravated, and terrible consequences will arise against its background.
What is skin atrophy?
This term, used in dermatology, combines a whole group of diseases. It is important to understand in detail the question of what atrophy is, because this pathological condition can occur at any age. Yes, and it occurs equally in both sexes. In medicine, the term “elastosis” is often used to identify such a disorder. This name perfectly reflects the processes taking place on the skin: the epidermis loses its former elasticity and becomes thinner. At the same time, connective tissue degenerates.
There are several types of atrophy:
- idiopathic with a progressive character;
- Rothmund-Thomson syndrome
According to the nature of the development of pathological changes, skin atrophy occurs:
Skin atrophy – causes
Physiological and pathological factors can be the basis of such a violation. Developing forms of atrophy directly depend on the reasons by which they are provoked.
More often, thinning of the skin on the hands and other parts of the body is due to:
- diseases of the nervous system;
- inflammatory processes provoked by fungi, viruses or pathogenic bacteria;
- radiation injury;
- genetic failure;
- autoimmune disease;
- contact with aggressive chemical compounds;
- hormonal imbalance;
- long-term use of corticosteroids;
- traumatic mechanical or thermal effects;
- violations of metabolic processes;
- excessive insolation.
Cicatricial atrophy of the skin and other types of elastosis are more often observed in such groups of people:
- the elderly;
- those who have harmful working conditions;
- genetically predisposed to the occurrence of such a disorder.
Atrophy occurs in two subspecies:
Steroid skin atrophy
This type of pathological change occurs with prolonged and unreasonable use of hormonal drugs. Glucocorticosteroids inhibit the activity of enzymes responsible for protein synthesis and other substances that affect skin elasticity. In most cases, skin atrophy after hormonal ointments is local.
It manifests itself as follows:
- The skin becomes covered with small folds and becomes thinner (outwardly it becomes similar to papyrus paper).
- Such an epidermis is easily injured, therefore, traces of hemorrhage and scars are often visible on it.
Senile skin atrophy
This condition is provoked by age-related changes in the body. It is caused by a slowdown in metabolic processes, due to which tissues adapt worse to the effects of negative external and internal factors. More often, atrophy of the skin of the face and other parts of the body occurs in people 70 years of age. However, sometimes strong age-related changes can be observed even earlier, for example, at 50 years old.
In this case, we are talking about premature aging, accompanied by the following symptoms:
- thinning of the skin;
- staining of the cover in a grayish or brownish tint;
- the formation of numerous folds.
Spotted skin atrophy
This disorder is also known as anetoderma. Although to this day the reasons for the development of such a condition have not been precisely established, experts still identify a number of factors that increase the likelihood of the onset of pathology. These include stress, infectious diseases and hormonal disorders.
There are three types of atrophy:
Idiopathic atrophoderma Pasini Pierini
It is also called superficial scleroderma. Young women are more likely to develop this disorder. In most cases, atrophy of the affected skin is concentrated on the back or abdomen. The focus can be single or multiple. It is large and brown in color.
There are such causes of atrophy:
Idiopathic progressive skin atrophy
This pathology has an infectious nature of development. Experts agree that the violation occurs after the bite of a tick infected with Borrelia.
The factors that provoke the development of the disorder include:
- failure in the functioning of the endocrine system;
Idiopathic atrophoderma goes through the following stages of development:
- Initial – Reporting and redness of certain areas of the body appear.
- atrophic – the affected area becomes thinner, becomes dry and wrinkled.
- sclerotic – seals are formed.
This is a genetic pathology. In other words, the cause of thinning skin is hereditary. The female gender is more likely to suffer from this disorder. At the same time, the newborn looks completely healthy. However, after about six months (in rare cases, after a couple of years), swelling and redness of individual areas appear on the skin. Later hyperpigmentation is observed. At the same time, such babies develop dental disorders, hair fall out and nails become thinner.
Skin atrophy – treatment
In the fight against violations, complex therapy is considered especially effective. If band-like skin atrophy or another pathological change is diagnosed, treatment is reduced to eliminating the cause that provoked the development of the disease. At the same time, they affect the affected area (strengthen local immunity) and the body itself (the defense system is strengthened). However, most forms of pathology, such as white atrophy of the skin, are an irreversible process, so a full recovery is impossible.
Modern medicine offers the following ways to deal with the violation:
- laser therapy;
- surgical excision of the affected area followed by tissue grafting;
- enzyme therapy;
- drug therapy (aimed at eliminating the root cause of the disorder);
- ointments for skin atrophy that stimulate tissue regeneration (Dermatix, Kelofibrase, MedGel);
- physiotherapy procedures – balneotherapy, healing baths.