Describing changes in skin layers it's impossible not to mention that as people age all the tissues and organs start to lose some functions. Aging changes in skin layers have been found in all of the human body's tissues, organs and cells. Obviously, the mentioned changes affect the functioning of all human body systems.
So, before we pay proper attention to aging changes in skin layers we should mention that human living tissue is made up of cells. Lots of different cells types are distinguished. All of them have the same basic structure. Evidently, the tissues are the skin layers of similar cells which perform specific function. Various kinds of tissues are known to group together and form organs.
There are four basic tissues types: connective, epithelial, muscle and nerve tissues. Each of them experiences various changes as the person gets older. Although human skin has several layers it can be divided into three main portions. The outer portion is called epidermis and contains cells, pigment and proteins. The middle skin layer is called dermis. It contains not only blood vessels, but also hair follicles, nerves and oil glands. Dermis is considered to provide proper nutrition to the outer skin layer's epidermis. The layer located under the dermis is known as the subcutaneous layer which contains sweat glands, blood vessels, some of the hair follicles and fat. Each skin layer contains the mentioned connective tissue which supports the whole skin thanks to collagen fibers and provides skin flexibility and strength thanks to elastin fibers.
Depicting the aging changes in skin layers it's necessary to mention that with age epidermis becomes thinner (in spite of the fact that the number of cells is unchanged). The number of melanocytes (or cells containing pigment) decreases; however at the same time the mentioned melanocytes increase in size. It is well known fact that skin is likely to become more pale, thinner and translucent with age. The person may see large pigmented spots on the sun-exposed areas.
It's worthy to admit that changes on connective tissue also occur. They include the reduction of skin elasticity and strength. Such condition is known as elastosis and usually affects sun-exposed skin areas.
Blood vessels of dermis become more fragile with age. Therefore the person may experience bleeding, bruising, cherry angiomas (small red spots on skin) and other similar skin conditions. Speaking about the subcutaneous skin layer it's necessary to mention that it plays an important role in padding and insulation. Unfortunately, subcutaneous becomes thinner with age. That's why the person may have increased risk of skin injury and at the same time reduced ability to maintain the temperature of the human body.
It's interesting to notice that some medications are absorbed by the skin fat layer, that's why loss of this important layer may change considerably the way these medications should work. Thus, it's rather important to know basic facts about aging changes in skin layers.