Is your skin feeling a bit under the weather? Discover the signs of damaged skin and learn how to repair it so that you can restore your healthy glow.

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Damaged Skin: 12 Signs, Causes, Treatments, And Prevention

05/20/20238 min read

Frustrated that your skin doesn’t seem to be at its best these days? You may have damaged skin. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Most people have concerns about how their skin is looking and feeling at times.

Help is on the way! We’ll guide you through the signs of damaged skin and give you tips on how to repair it. Pretty soon, you’ll be back to meet the mirror with a smile.

Table Of Contents

Signs Of Damaged Skin

Man exhibiting the signs of damaged skin

Unlike internal organs, you see your skin each and every day. There are several things to look for that may indicate your skin is struggling.

1) Fine Lines And Wrinkles

Fine lines and wrinkles are caused by a breakdown of the collagen and elastin in the skin. Although a hallmark of aging, premature skin damage can be the result of excessive sun exposure or other lifestyle factors.

2) Hyper Pigmentation

Melanin, which is made by cells called melanocytes, is what’s responsible for your skin’s color. When these melanin-producing cells are damaged or unhealthy, they make too much of the substance, which can then clump together and result in dark spots.

3) Decreased Elasticity

Like with fine lines and wrinkles, saggy skin is due to a decrease in collagen and elastin. This can often happen as a result of sun exposure, pollution, a poor diet, or smoking.

4) Uneven Skin Tone

Sun exposure is one of the biggest reasons behind uneven skin tone. After too much time on the beach or without your sunscreen, you can begin to notice sunspots on your skin.

Another reason you might have uneven skin is due to melasma. This condition causes darker and grayish patches on the skin and is often associated with pregnancy and birth control.

5) Rough Skin Texture

Rough skin texture may also be the result of dry skin. If your skin is rough to the touch, it may be because you’re losing some of the natural water in your body, leaving your skin dehydrated.

Another reason for rough skin could be an accumulation of dead skin cells on your skin’s surface.

6) Spider Veins

Spider veins are yet another sign of damaged skin. With spider veins, your veins are more pronounced and visible under your skin. This can happen because of exposure to UV rays, age, long periods of standing, hormonal changes (especially pregnancy), or injury.

7) Red, Blotchy Skin

Red, blotchy skin can also indicate that your skin is damaged. This can be because of excessive sun exposure, allergies, pollution or environmental factors, stress, or conditions like eczema, psoriasis, or rosacea.

What Causes Damaged Skin

A woman’s shoulder with red, damaged skin from the sun

Generally, when we talk about damaged skin, we refer to a compromised skin barrier. The skin is made up of three layers: the epidermis, dermis, and subcutaneous tissue.

The skin barrier is part of the epidermis, the outermost layer of skin. This layer is composed of skin cells held together by lipids, making a shield that is supposed to deflect any irritants and pollutants.

The skin barrier is also charged with the duty of ensuring that none of your body’s water escapes. When the skin cells and lipids are not bonded together tightly enough, gaps can appear, irritants can get in, and the water can escape, resulting in damage to your skin.

There are lots of potential culprits when it comes to damaged skin. From external irritants to lifestyle choices, your skin is a reflection of what’s going on inside and out.

Common causes of damaged skin include:

  • Sun exposure
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Harsh soaps and detergents
  • Over-exfoliation
  • Dehydration
  • Smoking
  • Pollution and environmental factors
  • Certain medications

How To Treat And Prevent Damaged Skin

Woman applying moisturizer to skin

Now that you’ve identified your damaged skin, it’s time to fix it. The best skin boosts are going to address both what you put on your skin and inside your body.

1) Hydrate

Hydration is key to repairing your damaged skin. You’ll want to use moisturizer liberally, at least every time you shower or wash your face. Moisturizer is absorbed best when skin is damp, so post-shower is the perfect time to work this step into your routine.

In addition, various plant oils can help hydrate your skin. Look for products that include ingredients like colloidal oatmeal, almond oil, jojoba oil, coconut oil, or a host of other botanicals in order to help your skin stay moisturized.

Another ingredient to look out for when you need to hydrate your skin is hyaluronic acid, a humectant that can attract water to your skin barrier.

But hydration isn’t only about what you’re putting on your skin. You’ll also have to look at what’s in your cup.

Water is essential when it comes to maintaining your healthy glow. Drinking more than two liters of water per day may help your skin by providing the necessary hydration.

2) Exfoliate

Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells on the surface of your skin. If you have rough patches, this may help. However, if exfoliating your skin seems to irritate it, use a more gentle formula or take a few days off.

3) Exercise

Incorporating exercise into your routine will have all sorts of health benefits, including for your skin. Because exercise decreases stress and works to boost your immune system, it may minimize the risk of flare-ups for chronic conditions like eczema and psoriasis.

Exercise also increases blood flow, which will nourish your cells so that they can repair themselves more effectively. Toxins are faster to exit as well.

Just be sure to take a shower after you work up a sweat, especially if you have sensitive skin. You want any sweat, oils, or bacteria to be washed away so your pores won’t get clogged or irritated.

If you’re not able to take a full shower every time, don’t worry. Just wash your face with a gentle cleanser and change into clean clothing post-workout.

4) Eat Healthy

As we said earlier, your skin is a reflection not only of what you’re putting onto your body (e.g., creams and lotions) but also of what you’re putting into it. Just like a poor diet is connected to skin problems, a healthy diet is connected to happier skin.

When you’re eating for your skin, focus on healthy fats and vitamins. Think about eating whole foods in a rainbow of colors, like bright orange carrots and vivid leafy greens.

Your plate should be full of colorful fruits and vegetables, like avocados, broccoli, tomatoes, berries, and bell peppers, as well as nuts and seeds. You might also want to try amping up your intake of fatty fish, like salmon and herring.

All of these foods are known to have a positive impact on your skin.

5) Use Sunscreen

Woman in a wide-brimmed hat applying sunscreen on the beach

You already know that UV rays cause damage by photoaging your skin. The best thing you can do is use sunscreen daily and try to stay out of the sun during the peak hours of the day.

According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, the ingredients in chemical sunscreens are able to absorb UV rays before they can cause damage, whereas the titanium dioxide and zinc oxide in mineral sunscreens act more like a shield.

Either way, using sunscreen can help protect your skin from damage. But along with your daily dollop of sunscreen, dress to protect your skin when you are outside for extended periods of time.

This means long sleeves and pants and a rashguard-style bathing suit. Also, grab a wide-brimmed hat and a UV-protective pair of shades.

Get Your Glow Back

Young woman smiling about her healthy skin

We’re sure you’re looking forward to the return of that glowy, healthy skin. Now that you know the signs of damaged skin, from wrinkles to redness to hyperpigmentation, you’re better equipped to fix it.

As we mentioned, repairing damaged skin is a matter of exfoliating, hydrating, and not forgetting your sunscreen. Beyond that, you’ll have to take care of your body well, including eating healthy foods and exercising.

If your damaged skin is a result of eczema or psoriasis, our Eczema Daily Calming Cream or Psoriasis Calming Cream may be good choices for you. Give them a try and love your skin again!


American Academy of Dermatology Association
National Institute of Health
Skin Cancer Foundation

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