Aging and paper-thin skin go hand in hand, according to my doctors. Some meds such as steroids exacerbate the condition. Sun damage is also a big factor. I'm 68 and find my skin bruises very easily--just small bumps can leave odd red marks.
I think it's because the fat layer diminishes as we age and the supporting muscles weaken. Lately my skin isn't as thick as it use to be. It is said that massaging your face (gently) may help the skin to feel thicker. My lip feels a lot thicker from massage but still looks lined. I'm hoping the lines will disappear there or atleast get finer.
I am only in my forties, but my skin looks just like my mother's, who is almost 80. I attribute my thin "grandma" skin to ill health, and medications. I have had strokes, and kidney failure, and need many medications daily.
It's pretty weird when I push my hand through my sleeves, and my mother's hands come out!
I also have a male friend who is a survivor of a lung transplant who is younger than me, and exhibits the same delicate skin.
I also get the red marks, and bruise easily.
I have learned to live with it, because I am alive, and happy to be so.
There could be more than one reason but here's one I heard about on the radio. It was part of an infomercial: The man said that omega 3 and omega 6 need to be in balance. I'm sure that's true because I've read about that many times. Then he said he wanted to see what would happen if he got all of his dietary fat from flaxseed oil which is rich in omega 3. The result was: He said that within a few months his skin became paper thin.
With so many people supplementing omega 3, perhaps there are many who are getting too much. But it's strange that he didn't report any other possible symptoms as follows:
For skin health there should be a balance of 2 to 1 in omega 6and 3's. Most people get enough omega 6 but not everyone gets enough omega 3's. Sometimes prolonged supplementation with omega 3's can lead to a surplus and in inbalance between the two and the skin may eventually get thinner. If this is the case it's easy enough to correct by cutting back on the omega 3's. They must be in balance for optium health..
I concur medications can cause skin to become thinner. Another reason is the natural aging process, just like Dorri said - the fat layers or fatty substances in our skin diminish as we age, and the collagen and elastin that support the skin structure weaken as well as we age.
I've found a really good product for keeping my skin elasticity/firmness and overall youthfulness, on top of reducing wrinkles. It's Alpha Derma CE made by Janson Beckett. I've been on it for a few years with amazing results. I had gone back and forth between numerous high end brands but found none of them as good as Alpha Derma CE. This cream has put back a lot of elasticity and has thickened and tightened up my skin, everywhere, including the jowl and neck area.
I also take a supplement that may also have helped. It's Phyto-estrogens which are natural estrogens extracted from soy and rich in soy isoflavones. After women hit 40, many notice sudden aging and that's partly due to the drop of estrogens in their body. Synthetic estrogens may have side effects and are not recommended. The ones I take are natural estrogens derived from soy and I feel safe.
Not sure whether you are asking which illness or health condition can cause skin thinning or why does skin thin as we age?
Testosterone deficiency can cause thinning skin, memory problems, low libido, dimished feeling of wellness, bone loss, vaginal dryness, incontinence, aches/pains among other things. Most people with these symptoms simply think these are age related symptoms as most of these symptoms are found among older rather than younger populations. Once you have gone through menopause everything is blamed on that. Not many people get their hormones checked and attempt to do something about them.
Our hormones tend to decline as we age as well as after menopause eg: estrogen is a common one most people know declines after menopause, but testosterone can start to decline after 40 yrs of age for some women and it's a hormone not often discussed as it's thought to be a male hormone.