As our armour, our skin suffers slings and arrows (and pointy desk corners and hot coffee spills) each day. And sometimes, those attacks leave marks.
One Star reader, a 60-year-old woman who says she eats well and exercises regularly, noticed that with each passing year, those marks and scrapes and bruises seem to get worse — bluer, blacker and all around more nefarious.
She’s also noticed they stick around a lot longer, too.
“Up until this started, I thought of myself as a ‘quick healer,’ ” she wrote in an email. “Great, just another wonderful symptom of aging!”
Well, maybe not that wonderful. But it is, irritatingly, a fact of getting older, according to the experts I spoke with who are often asked about this ugly phenomenon.
Dr. Samir Sinha, Director of Geriatrics at Sinai Health System and the University Health Network, says that as we get older, the layer of fat beneath our skin begins to thin.
Without that sheet of naturally protective plump, the tiny blood vessels underneath it, right atop our muscles, are left vulnerable, he says. Forceful blows or even smaller bumps can cause them to break open and leak turning the skin black and blue, he explains.
Adding insult to injury, our skin also loses its collagen as we age, robbing our body’s covering of its stretchiness and making the skin more fragile and prone to rips, then blood vessel breaks and bruises, he says.