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My Thin, Aging Skin: Hands and Arms That Bleed and Bruise Easily

John was a Navy hospital corpsman. He worked the general sick bay, managed a carrier O.R., and treated heat rash, eczema, and dyshidrosis.

My wife suggested that I wrap dish towels around my arms to protect them from the rough environment and the sun.

My wife suggested that I wrap dish towels around my arms to protect them from the rough environment and the sun.

The Sun Takes Its Toll 

Sun-exposed forearms and hands in elderly individuals results in Bateman's purpura, or BP. Bruising is caused by blood vessels weakened by sun exposure. Ultraviolet light is the causative part of the spectrum. Minor impact to the skin can cause bruising. Other terms include solar purpura, actinic purpura, and senile purpura.

My interest in this subject stems from not wanting to limit my activity—which I think is a concern to many people who are aging. I don't want to miss out on life because of concerns about banging up my skin. Throughout this discussion, I want to refer to what happened to me and how I addressed the problem.

At 62, I am a classic example of a person who should have taken better care of himself. I have lived in Arizona since the age of five. Fifty-seven years of improper skin protection has taken its toll. I took warnings about using sunscreen with a grain of salt. I was too busy to fuss with all of that, I thought! More often than not, I wore short-sleeved shirts outside in the intense summer sun.

Once I reached my 50s, however, I began to notice that very small bumps and bangs could cause deeper cuts and more bleeding than I was accustomed to. I began to learn about the concept of thinning skin, and I started to do something to protect myself.

One of the troubling results of aging is the acquisition of paper-thin skin. This "thin skin" is due to a reduction in the amount of collagen (a protein, fibrous in nature, connecting and supporting other bodily tissues) under the surface of the skin. Elastin (another protein), which gives flexibility or spring to the skin, also decreases. Exposure to the sun and its ultraviolet rays accelerates the loss of collagen and elastin. Because the hands and forearms are the most frequently uncovered parts of our body, the thin skin develops there most often. The skin changes in appearance, doesn't bounce back, and tears and bruises more easily.

Thin Purple Skin

With thin skin, bumps and bangs usually cause an immediate bleed under the skin if not broken. These purple marks spread out under the skin and are a telltale sign of age. I look at them now as if they were scars, and the people I have them with in common, veteran livers. It wasn't always so.

The interest I took, noted earlier, came from the surprise when I discovered a big blood spot or found blood on clothing. Usually, I am unaware that anything happened to cause such a bruise or bleed. There is nothing heartwarming about working on a project, discovering blood, and then trying to find out where it is coming from!

An example may be informative to the younger. I work on cars. I cannot say I enjoy it, but I must repair cars out of necessity. The automobile is the single biggest cause of nicks and bruising on my body. When I am done repairing something on an automobile, I have looked as if I have been through some kind of war. My skin, having traveled across a piece of metal or some kind of connector, ever so slightly, came up a loser. Usually, blood was smeared all over part of the engine or all over me. With nicks and bruising all over, I realized I had to make a lifestyle change.

So here is an idea that my wife, not I, came up with. She suggested that I wrap dish towels around my arms and secure them with rubber bands (not tight rubber bands!). Over that, she felt I should wear a long-sleeve shirt to keep them in place and help protect my arms and hands from the rough environment and the sun! She is a smart lady.

Since doing this, I have virtually eliminated cutting to my skin. I still get some bruising, but nothing is perfect. I am so grateful for this suggestion she made. And for those of you out there who don't FEEL old yet and want to continue with what you have always done, this is something that helps me with car repairs.


It Was Her Solution

Dish towels rubberbanded around the forearms covered by a long sleeve shirt can be a very inexpensive fix. I am including photos. The dish towels run $4 for six at Walmart. I use latex gloves to protect my hands from cutting (but they are also now recommended for professional auto repair people to prevent cancer from over-exposure to burned hydrocarbons). I get Medi Touch Powder Free Latex Gloves, 50-count per box at $6.27 at Walmart.

Another example of a common thing I do to get an abrasion involves yard work. My home is made of frame and stucco—the outer coat is a rough Spanish lace texture. If I turn a corner just a bit too soon and my forearm touches that rough stucco, I have a scrape that will bleed. This is the kind of scrape that used to appear as roughed-up white dry skin, perhaps a little reddened but not bleeding.

If I get close enough to a countertop to tap it with my hand or forearm, it can result in a bruise or a nick. So here is a common sense solution I have had to acknowledge and use to change my behavior. I have had to become more careful. As easy as it seems, it takes some training. I intentionally give more room between me and objects. If I see a countertop, I don't get as close. If I see a corner, I remind myself to make a wider turn. These are things I never consciously thought about before; the consequences of hitting were not very serious.

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These slides show cross-sections of the epidermis and dermis of (a) thin and (b) thick skin. Note the significant difference in the thickness of the epithelial layer of the thick skin. From top, LM × 40, LM × 40. Micrographs provided by the Regents.

These slides show cross-sections of the epidermis and dermis of (a) thin and (b) thick skin. Note the significant difference in the thickness of the epithelial layer of the thick skin. From top, LM × 40, LM × 40. Micrographs provided by the Regents.

Grandpa's First Aid Tips

I deal with bloody spots under the skin with vitamin E gel. I use Equate Aloe Vera & Vitamin E Baby Oil Gel. Before bed every evening, I wash the area with the bloody spot and apply the gel, which rubs in and disappears quite well. What have been the results? I think the gel helps the bruise dissipate sooner. I cannot prove it scientifically, but it is something I believe is working. My skin also feels better. Maybe it would help you, too? Again, I have my wife to thank for the idea. She is an aloe convert and has seen its healing properties in other ways - for her, in the treatment of sunburn. She thought the gel might help my forearms and hands. I am a convert. The gel costs around $1.50 per tube at Walmart.

If I get a nick doing ordinary chores or activities, I wash them and apply an antibiotic ointment. While at the doctor's office for a routine check-up, my physician noticed my little cuts and bruises and emphasized that I should clean them immediately and apply such ointment or cream. She told me that I was at risk of an MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) infection if I ignored it, which I used to do. MRSA is a bacteria that is getting resistant to a number of antibiotics. Cleaning and treating immediately get ahead of it. Remember when you would scab in 5 seconds, ignore the wound, and continue to work? Not so smart anymore. I use Equate Triple Antibiotic Ointment at $2.52 a tube, which contains Polymyxin B sulfate—bacitracin zinc—gramicidin. There are other antibiotic ointments available. Inquire with a pharmacist.

So, to review, wear long-sleeve shirts to cover the forearms; this helps buffer the skin from nicking and bruising, and it also protects the skin from exposure to ultraviolet sunlight. Try using dish towels wrapped around the forearms to protect from cutting and bruising when working in tight quarters. Treat cuts and abrasions immediately with triple ointment or cream to prevent infection and to promote faster healing.

Vitamin K cream promotes blood clotting. At the moment of injury, applying it can reduce the amount of bleeding and, hence, the size of the blotch. Prices on Amazon start at $4.99 for 4 ounces, and the price goes up from there. I have not used this but read about it while doing research for the article.

And now for a final suggestion. I like to use Curad non-stick pads (12-count, 2"x3") with adhesive tabs for covering those little nicks (or gashes!). These pads stick less to the wound (the advertisements say they do not stick at all; I'm not sure that is completely true, but they are good, nonetheless). The pads provide a buffer, again, between the wound and the possibility of re-injuring the wound. I know those of you out there who are of age have had a cut stop bleeding, washed it, and returned to work only to find a few minutes later you have rapped the same cut again. Ouch! It almost always is a bigger tear with more bleeding. I am sure we have all seen the same thing. The Curad pads help a lot to keep the second strike from causing as much damage, and they cover the wound to prevent infection. The adhesive used by these pads has not torn my skin. It is an adhesive that grabs, but it doesn't grab so hard that you rip the skin when removing the pad. They are available for under $3.00 per box at Walmart.

I have personally decided to wait for a more serious health problem later in life to limit my activity. The bruising and cutting I experience due to thin skin is a bother, but it can be nullified in the bigger scheme of things. Don't let paper-thin skin hold you back!

Petechia/purpura on the lower limb due to medication-induced vasculitis

Petechia/purpura on the lower limb due to medication-induced vasculitis

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Questions & Answers

Question: I am a 54-year-old female in good health but my arms skin tears and bruises easily. Why is this?

Answer: Sorry to read about your skin problems. My article outlines nursing your skin. There is one more thing you might do for safety. Some blood disorders can cause bruising. See a physician and discuss this. He or she may order a blood test to make sure your condition is just a sign of age. The tearing and bruising is a frustrating thing; I suffer from it too. But cleaning, using an antibiotic ointment, and covering the areas quickly is my best advice. Limit sun exposure and wearing long sleeves, hat, and gloves can help slow the.progression. I wish I could help you more, but it seems to go with aging.

Question: What causes body hair loss in a 70-year-old male?

Answer: Loss of body hair can be a sign of a disease process. The loss can be a result of hormone changes, or a symptom of an autoimmune disease. You need to consult a physician to rule out serious possibilities.

Question: What causes me to feel a tightness in my chest and stomach when I'm in the pool?

Answer: Pain can radiate from chest to abdomen and vice versa. Your complaint deserves a visit to your primary care physician. He or she may want you to see a pulmonologist. I hope you visit the doctor because what you have asked about could be serious.

Question: Cortisone was injected into my scaphoid due to joint pain from a fall. I have lost the muscle mass near the injection site, and I'm concerned about the constant bruising and skin tears at the injection site. I am 63 and still working in an office with this unsightly condition. How do I build up the dermis again?

Answer: This is beyond my capabilities to answer, although I do appreciate your concern.

Please refer to the Mayo Clinic discussion:

Question: I have pain in the left side of my head, with no other symptoms other than a headache. What could be the cause of my pain?

Answer: Pain in the head should be discussed with a doctor. There can be a lot of varied causes for head pain, but a physician should be consulted due to the seriousness of possible stroke.

© 2011 John R Wilsdon


John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on May 17, 2019:

Rosey -There are so many reasons for skin that breaks out and itch. Best bet is to see a physician and give him a complete history of your health.

John R Wilsdon from Superior, Arizona USA on May 17, 2019:

Sam red1 -

Sorry I missed this comment. Usually I am very good about responding. I always like to hear about remedies that prove helpful. This one (Curly Dock) I have never heard of. Keep taking care of yourself, and thanks for the information.

Rosey Jenkins on May 17, 2019:

My skin breaks out and iches?

Sam red1 on December 16, 2018:

In the years of 2004 thru 2017 i would bruse if i bumpped my arms on anything. 2018 i started using a herb (weed) Curly Dock and i no longer bruse. I am 77 yrs old

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on October 07, 2018:

Your son had a great idea. I hope it works. My dog does the same thing. I try to keep her nails trim. Good luck and stay positive. Thanks for writing.

Cynthia Daniel on October 07, 2018:

Thank you for info, I am 50 and have a house cleaning business, My arms look so bad,, dogs come up to me to say hello, jump up just enough to scratch me and bleeds like crazy UGH!! My son ordered me some cooling sport sleeves, Hopefully they will work, see torrommow

karen on September 07, 2018:

thanks for the info

Pamela999 on June 22, 2018:

I also bruise very easily due more long term medications to treat lupus, like prednisone. Half of the time I have no idea where the bruise originates. I think being careful around counter tops is a good suggestion. I hate seeming all the bruise on my arms. and they appear all over my body when I have not been careful enough. I have used sun screen much of the time because living in FL also g

ive you a more than healthy dose of sun. I found your article very helpful, and you wife sounds like a woman that tries to take care of you. Thumbs up!

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on June 21, 2018:

I understand your dilemma. Just today my grandson came running up with a toy and slipped, barely touching my forearm. Yep, it was a bloody mess. I have found that using triple ointment on the nicks right away limits the bleeding and helps prevent infection. Because of your steroid use in the past, you probably are even more sensitive. You fought the asthma for years; good for you. Quickly taking care of myself and getting on with life has been my attitude. Bruises and tears are hard to accept, but thinking ahead and covering up appropriately has helped a lot. And, yes, you are not alone. Take care.

trubshaw18 on June 21, 2018:

I live in the UK and used Prednislone for years for Asthma and now at 50 my skin bruises and tears so easily. My GP says the damage is done and not a lot medically that can be done.

I am currently trying so many things out of desperation. This mainly effects my lower arms and shins. Literally the slightest touch of anything bruises me. Even last night my husband turned over in bed caught me with his elbow and tore my skin. This is having such a negative impact on my life. I'm sure people I work with think I'm in an abusive marriage!! Such a relief reading I'm not alone.

Nell Rose from England on May 29, 2018:

Ouch! oh how I know what you mean! I have thyroid meds and asthma puffers. between the two I have thin skin, and those cuts are so painful. great advice.

Pamela999 on May 11, 2018:

I bruise very easily also, but due to long term cortisone (Prednisone) use to treat lupus. I don't get the cuts as much and think your wife's idea is great. I do sunscreen and have for years as the sun is not good for people with lupus, however, when I was young I was tan every summer. I will try the gel you use and hope it will help. I take vitamin E pills, but I don't see any difference.Very informative article.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on April 24, 2018:

Thank you so much. Didn't know about the athletic arm sleeves. I am hoping others read these comments because there are a lot of good ideas out there. One gentleman cuts sleeves off old shirts and puts them over his arm when he is driving.

Thanks for taking the time to let me know!

inherjyze1 on April 24, 2018:

I just thought i would give you a great solution to using dish towels on your forearms. Now days companies make arm sleeves for athletes, full and half and they work great for protection plus come in colors that you can match your clothing.I just buy the black or white ones. They also come in different thicknesses so they work very well. Hope this helps.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on January 08, 2018:

Thank you.

Beverly Heikkila on January 08, 2018:

It's called Batemans Purpura.

moonlake from America on January 03, 2018:

This happened with my husband. His skin got so thin and easily bleed. All skin gets thin with age but I do think it runs in families. All my husband’s brothers had the same problem. I have never had this problem. I take many medications for my heart. They don’t cause thin skin on me but everyone is different.

Good information on your hub.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on October 07, 2017:

Cindy Q Thank you for your comment. I hope the information I provided will help in dealing with the problem. Protecting your skin, in my opinion, is the best answer. I also turned 68 a few months ago. There is much less frustration when you can improve things.

Nutritional Supporters? Long term steroids used to treat asthma can result in thin skin. But the condition can be seen in very young people too. I don't think good nutrition can hurt, nor the reasoned use of nutritionals, but I know nothing of the effects of nutrition on old epidermis and the underlying fat layer.

Cindy Q on October 07, 2017:

I'm 68 and having the same tearing on my hands and arms when I barely bump them. I appreciate all that you wrote in your article. It is the most sensible piece I have read on this subject and I intend to do all that you suggested.

Thank you so much for your excellent advice.

Nutritional Supporters? on August 27, 2017:

I thought this condition was caused by the use of certain medicines, especially those to treat asthma. Balanced diet with frequent ingestion of veggies could prevent? For those not on such meds, I really wonder if taking nutritional supplements, taken over the course of time could help. Have you thought about doing this? Did you look into it?

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on August 02, 2017:

Good for you!! Some folks might think a holey crew sock is unusable. And crew socks are thicker cotton. Very nice. Thanks for the comment.

Gary on August 02, 2017:

I am nearly 70 and still practice black belt level okinawan Uechi ryu.I cut the toe out of white crew sock and pull them over my arms to help avoid bleeding

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on August 01, 2017:


I am forever thanking my wife for suggestion on how to make life a bit easier for me. Yep, grandma was smart. And it's funny how every time I come in with a bloody scrape, she always reacts like it is important? Not everybody reacts that way. I guess that is called love! Thanks for the comment, and you take care.

gerrielynn on August 01, 2017:

Oh, thank you for addressing this frightening, but very real issue for those of us in our golden years! Dish towels! What a great idea! Cudos for your wife. My grandma always said, "necessity is the mother of invention." Your wife certainly follows that line of thought.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on July 27, 2017:

All offerings of advice about the topic are a great boon to those seeking solutions. Thanks for taking the time to respond. I myself will make a bit of salt water and dip a cotton ball in it. Snorting it back and allowing it to run over the sinuses takes away the pain and soothes the tissues. We all learn with age. Good luck in the future. on July 26, 2017:

I am 63, who has recently lost 62 pounds. I noticed that my skin has been thinning and as I shaved my leg's for wearing capri pants my skin bled. I have a BMI of 20 now and look very thin. I sunbathed as a teen in Toronto Ontario Canada where I still live but when in Aruba 2 winters ago I noticed blisters for the 1st time. I do not go out in the sun much any more but I have been noticing bruises lately. So today I googled my age, skin colour,and being thin skinned and read you article. I like the idea of the t-towels and also the cut off socks, but my husband has been buying me long sleeved top's reasonably priced from Costco. I wear these with my Costco capri pant's. I was a size 16 and now I am a size 4 so I had to find some way to dress. I was an RN all my life it seems, but always in ICU so uniforms it was. No real sense of style while working and raising kid's. So I used to notice the thin skin of my patient's but most were in their 80's. My Mom is 96 and her skin is not as thin as mine. Sun bathing - alway's looked better with a tan. Oh well wisdom comes as we age??? I used some anti bioatic cream on my leg's today just Polysporin from Shopper's Drug Mart {are go to pharmacy} in Ontario. I read many of your post's and had some advice for the sinus's that I have found useful. A Neti pot- it looks like a small Tea Pot and you fill with some salt water and rinse your sinus's with it by hanging over the sink and letting the water run through your nose. It works well and my husband and daughter use it for sinuses. You can by saline solution from Walmart or just use clean water with salt. Just wanted to let you know that I found your post's very informative and that the world becomes closer as we all seek solutions from people from every where. Regard's Brenda Fagen

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on July 25, 2017:

Hello Lorraine Nogle

That is such a practical way to deal with the problem. Thanks for commenting. That will make it even easier for folks dealing with "old" skin.

Lorraine Nogle on July 18, 2017:

I had a friend who had this condition and bled very easily. He started buying socks that were long, cutting off the foot section and wearing those on his arms. They were easy to put on and off. Washed easily and were soft to help cushion his arm. Also very absorbing of the blood. Worked for him and sort of looked like just long sleeves sticking out under his shirt. Interesting article. I will buy some of the cream for me.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on June 22, 2017:

Jo Smith (Mrs.)

Glad the article helped in some way. Yes, I don't have to ask that the little dog with the sharp nails be kept away from me at my kids' houses. Just the sight of what happens to me if they don't from those little talons has been enough to hide the dog. The dog is great, but your skin is too! Thanks for the comment.

Jo Smith ( Mrs.) on June 21, 2017:

Thanks for your advice, I am 75 and still very active and hope to continue that way but I sure get banged up like you do. I work in the yard and detail my car and just do all kinds of things and don't intend to stop til I drop. SO, I will take better care of my arms and hands from now on, the skin is paper thin. I tell my sister to put her dog away when I come to see her but he jumps up on me and causes tears that are bad. From now on I am not going to put up with that! Thanks for the good advice and letting me know something worse is not going on.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on June 04, 2017:


Thanks for the comment. Despite the care we must take with our skin, Arizona is a wonderful place. It all becomes second nature, and enables us to have all kinds of adventures in the outdoors.

Maura on May 28, 2017:

Thank you for the article. As a fellow Arizonan, I get it and will follow your suggestions,

STAN CHUN on May 13, 2017:

Hi again John,

I was rummaging thru one of our variety stores yesterday and came across a 'new' DVD of the 1959 movie WARLOCK with Henry Fonda, Anthony Quinn, Richard Wydmark and Dorothy Malone.

In my opinion this was Henry Fonda's best western and I wonder if it was set in Arizona.Talking about skin, I had a headache and my wife used some acupressure on my arm. This involved rubbing the arm along the top side very firmly. If it hurts you know you have found the acu point. Well it did hurt like Hell and the next day I had a rash of tiny red spots come up. I thought it was something I ate and was allergic to but later came to the conclusion that is was due to my thin aging skin. I had not thought of that until I read your column. Never too old to learn and not to press too hard on the acupressure points.



STAN CHUN on May 05, 2017:

Hi again John,

I was in a variety shop here today and looking over all the items. One in particular I thought to be handy for thin skin is the common Wrist Strap of elasticized material.

It only fits the lower part of the arm but this is where most damage is done. You only have to ask Wonder Woman.



STAN CHUN on April 22, 2017:

Lanolin used to be a very popular lotion for skin derived from sheep skins I think. It seems to have waned in popularity with all the thousands of beauty products on the market that last for a day then are replaced by newer 'improved' products.

Many of the older ones altho' not so glamorous are still very good at what they claim to do for skin.

We really need to look after this great organ of the human body. My latest blood spot is going down after its venture in the car boot.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on April 21, 2017:

You are very welcome. Don't let it get you down. Push forward and enjoy your life. Thank you for the comment.

Jerry on April 20, 2017:

Thank you for this great site John, Thin skin and bruises was a worry and the doctor would not address it in any way. I have 2 antique cars I work on and very often get tears on rusty metal. I also have 2 pet goats and often get skin tears from their horns. Thankfully, at 80 I am not prone to infections. The article and comments have reassured me that the skin problem is almost normal at my age and has relieved a lot of worry

STAN CHUN on April 18, 2017:

Hi again John,

Regarding your comment on Victory at Sea I also recall this brilliant program many years ago in B&W on TV. It became on sale at Amazon so I bought it.

However, I was very disappointed with the quality of the doco. I think it was the sound that was terrible so I did not go thru the whole disc.

Speaking of Kiwis with their rescue with sheep and mutton we are very famous for those two products in fact I think they are still our biggest exports. We also export a lot of sheepskins so the ones you were using might well have been New Zealand product. Our country has been very popular with the Americans. Director of Titanic Cameron lives here about 2 hrs drive away in an area called Wairarapa. He has a huge acreage of land there with a large house on the property. He wanted his children to grow up 'normally' . By this I take it far from the artificial world of Hollywood.

Another American took a look at another huge chunk of land with lake and mountains surrounding and bought it straight away for $13 million.

House prices have gone thru the sky in the busier areas like Auckland and Wellington now so much so that the ordinary guy simply cannot afford to buy.My son wanted to buy a property and this was only possible by my wife and I plus his fiancee's parents making contributions to the deposit of the mortgage, but it is a beautiful house not far from the motorway to the city.

Tom Cruise was popular here making The Last Samurai and I think he is coming back for another Mission Impossible. He liked it here where he does not get mobbed by the locals and can bend his elbow at a bar with the other patrons. Scarlett Johannson just returned to the US after making Ghost In The Shell. She also made a small cake shop out in the suburbs famous for her favourite cream cake that she described as best in the world. It is probably because we use real milk for the cream whereas I notice many use the artificial cream that does not taste the same.Viggo Mortenson used to patronise a well known steak house here called The Green Parrot. He was here for the making of Lord of the Rings and would go barefoot into the city for a steak after a long day.

In the end John, if Trump and the short guy in Nth Korea are not careful as both are like dynamite, we will not be worried about thin skin because we will all be radioactive with skin and flesh peeling away. Trump has to be thick skinned in a way, but his already that, but at the same time have a quick lesson in diplomacy or it will be Arizona sand that lights up the sky.

The next war will not be like the one you fought and really it is guys like you that need to write and tell the world about the terror of war with even conventional weapons.Brings me to the old song : " The shouting and the tumult dies, the captains and the kings depart. Still stands thine ancient sacrifice a noble and a contrite heart. Lord God of Hosts forgive us yet Lest we Forget, Lest we Forget..!!"



18 April, 2017.

STAN CHUN on April 17, 2017:

Hi John,

You must be one of those old fashioned guys that simply has to reply to a letter or an email.

Love that trait.

Hate all the emails I send out and get no response yet it is so easy.

Am feeling a bit wobbly at the moment.

Am trying to withdraw from the antibiotic Doxycycline which I have been taking for my sinus infection caused by the allergens here.

I am living in an area that seems to be affected by pollen and other stuff that gets up my nose and causes sinusitis.

Most stuff like Claratyne and nasal sprays only work to a certain degree so I supplement it with a Chinese herbal called Pe Min Kan.

It really works. I was on a site some time ago where people live in abject misery because modern science cannot find a cure for the common sinus problems and I think the only real solutions is Chinese herbals and acupuncture.

Most places have ACUPUNCTURE written in big letters on buildings these days but the best practitioners are the ones with the small signs with Chinese written on them

and they use very basic equipment unlike the flashy western stuff. It is not the acupuncture but the guy with the years of experience with the needles. Similarly it is the herbalist with the years of experience and diagnoses that knows how to treat you. Quite unlike western methods where one size fits all. A good healer treats you as a whole person holistically, and individually.

I must have had withdrawal symptoms from the doxycycline yesterday as I was dizzy and felt like I was standing on a rocking boat. Phoned my acupuncture guy and will see him tomorrow. He is amazing. He places a needle at the top of my head and the dizzyness goes.I started going to my guy about 15-20 years ago when several others I tried failed me. I nearly gave up on him too after 10 sessions and I still had this headache but he lay me down and needled me. An hour later he told me to get up then asked how I felt. I said "That's funny..the headache has gone..??".

He replied " Yes.. because the headache is coming from your stomach not your sinuses...I HAVE FIXED YOUR SINUSES.." he almost shouted at me. I knew then I had found my healer and have been to him ever since.

Speaking of ceel phones I thought mine had died so I got my wife to check with one of the providors for me. He said they could not get batteries for my old model so I went to the main teleco in NZ ,Spark. I asked the salesman if he had batteries and he asked me what is wrong with the phone.

"Dead" I think.

So he presses this red button on the right hand side and I'll be damned ...the phone goes and is fully charged. I never knew that button switched off the phone..?? TAlk about stupid ol' bugger..!!

So I bought another spare off him as a secondary model which has a camera ans a radio. I can work the camera but don't know how the radio volume goes up or down.

Gotta get my son again.

I am not born to this modern day stuff where they use damned icons instead of words.

Take me back to yesterdays..!!

Rgds John and great to hear from you. Your message just came thru..!!

Am also nursing a new big blood spot on my right wrist. Got jammed in the tyre well of my car while trying to sop the water out. Been flooding here.



John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on April 17, 2017:

Hi Stan,

I have had problems losing my Internet provider. We have only one satellite provider unless you want to bundle and have your cell phone service too. You can purchase a hot spot (an alternative), but it all is more than I want to pay. By way of an explanation, I have been struggling with that and not writing!

2 things come to mind. Regarding the "love bight" incident, I know how easy it is for us codgers to bruise. When I worked at a Naval hospital years (and I mean years) ago, we helped a lot of older retired sailors in the San Diego area, all of whom, it seemed, had thin skin. After being mortified by what happened when I tried to pull some old men up in their beds, I had to figure out a better way. My finger tips left bruises in many spots. So I started raising them up when they slid down the bed using sheep skins. If they were lying on them, I would grab the sheep skin and slide it up, reducing the pressure points. If none was under, then I took pieces that I had collected and put them under the shoulders and lifted them up that way. Worked well.

And, another thing you spoke of comes to mind. When I was a kid, my dad and I watched a program called "Victory at Sea." Loved the ocean and ship photos. One time my dad pointed out a supply ship from New Zealand. He said, "Oh boy, did I love seeing those guys." He was on a small rocket launcher amphibious ship and they would run out of fresh food about a week out of port. He said that he got so sick of eating spam he would never eat it again the rest of his life, and I don't think he ever did. He said that those ships would come along side and send over lamb or even mutton. To him it was cause for celebration! Good memories.

Take care.

STAN CHUN on March 21, 2017:

HI John,

Those were great westerns you mentioned. 3.10 to YUma was the original with Glenn Ford and a later one was made with Russell Crowe the Kiwi which was not as good.Cimmaron was the John Ford Classic I think but cannot recall if I saw the 1960 version. I just re-watched The Outlaw Joey Wales a short time ago along with High Plains Drifter.Can't beat Clint Eastwood in that type of western in fact I named my 2nd son Clinton...and the first Lincoln. Rio Bravo was one of the John Wayne movies where all he did was walk back and forth taking his Winchester off the rack. He was outshone by Dean Martin as the town sherriff and drunk. Martin was always under rated as an actor but I have John Wayne pics and effigies all around my home.The Searchers was highly rated but I found it rather slow. Red River with Monty Clift is a very memorable Wayne movie. Seen practically every Wayne western. Was great in most of John Ford productions who was his friend and discoverer for Stagecoach.

How the West Was Won I saw several times on the big screen.

A great movie indeed full of great stars as Greg Peck, James Stewart and Henry Fonda.

I just love the westerns in fact my brother said that if I was going to be reborn it would be as a cowboy.

I was in Hawaii some years ago and brought back some aloe vera. The product there was great for sunburn. Am using it on my skin since I read your article.

"Down Under" is more of an American term for Australia and NZ. WE hardly use it here. More often the Maori term Aotearoa is used meaning The Land of the LOng White Cloud.

My friend lives in Brisbane Aust. and he likes Australia if not for the Ass-tralians. They have a certain manner about them which I find hard to describe but are somewhat different to the Kiwi attitude which is a bit more laid back.

Also where they have racial problems with the indigenous Aborigines and is known to have shot them like animals, NZ has a far better relationship with the Maori and are guided in Law by the Treaty of Waitangi which we have pretty much adhered to even tho it cost the country millions in land ownership and righting wrongs to the Maori over 100 yrs ago.

We have a very fair and transparent attitude to all races here unlike the US problem/s which will only get worse under your new president.

Having said that I am not anti American. My brother went to war in the Pacific and got to know one very well and became life long friends. I still communicate with him.

He is Mal Gurian and was the CEO of OKI Telecom in the USA. Now retired in Florida. I think he was one of the first to develop the mobile phone in the states.Great guy and very humble.



John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on March 20, 2017:

Howdy Stan,

Sorry for addressing you as Australian! Do New Zealanders consider themselves "down under" or is that just Australians?

I live in Superior, Arizona. It's a little copper mining town about 60 miles east of Phoenix.

I used to live in Tucson where "Old Tucson" movie studios are, and where most of the westerns were made. My little town can claim a number of movies. This is a list of films that were filmed in the U.S. state of Arizona. Arizona's diverse geography make it an ideal place for making films. The deserts in the southern part of the state make it a prime location for westerns. Old Tucson Studios is a studio just west of Tucson where several film and television westerns were filmed, including 3:10 to Yuma (1957), Cimarron (1960), The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), and Rio Bravo (1959).

Such films as U Turn by Oliver Stone, Eight Legged Freaks, How the West Was Won, Blind Justice, The Prophecy, Skinwalkers, The Gauntlet with Clint Eastwood, and Young Billy Young are set in Superior. In 2005, a sci-fi film named The Salena Incident, also called Alien Invasion Arizona, was filmed in Superior.

Due to state laws and taxes, the movie industry pretty much moved to New Mexico, but once in awhile one is set here.

Good to have a bit of sports banter. The rivalry here is between Arizona State University sports and University of Arizona.

As for the skin, watching and playing American football here is very hard on the body. Lots of water is consumed! Don't forget your hat!

STAN CHUN on March 17, 2017:

Hi again John,

Speaking of Doves. last night I decided to watch Lonesome Dove with Robt Duvall. Is an old western produced in the 1980's and I always meant to watch it...but only until now for some reason. I have stacks of unseen DVD's but I picked Lonesome Dove and I'll be was shot in Tuscon, Arizona.

No wonder all the cowboys kept their sleeves rolled down.

Another thing is that with the blemishes you get from the aging skin you have to check for moles that can turn cancerous.We have a pretty high mortality rate here

for innocent looking spots.

Keep a hat on to protect the head.

Incidently I am writing from New Zealand which is not a part of Australia.

We are kinda down further and a step away from Antarctica.

There is always a bit of friendly banter about the Aussies stealing our talent like Russell Crowe who was born in NZ, and the NA Pavlova cake plus lots of other incidents. To make our mark we make sure the Rugby All Blacks trounce them.



John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on March 17, 2017:

Stan Chun

I think Arizona and Australia have a lot in common. We probably could be dropped in each other's backyards and not miss a beat. I forgot which side of the road you mates drive on. LOL

When I was a kid, our favorite summer past time was swimming. They said the chlorine turned our hair blonde. Well, it had already turned Scandinavian blonde before the pool opened! We lived a carefree life in the 50s and 60s without all of the medical information about the harmful effects of the sun.

I take a cholesterol lowering drug that warns of redness on exposure to sun light. A broad brimmed hat is very useful.

Now as for sending your sinuses to Arizona, I wouldn't do that. Back in the 40s and 50s that would have been true. It was hot, dry, and we had only native plants which weren't particularly allergenic. However, with the great growth in our state, exotic plants have come with the new inhabitants, and we can't provide that haven from pollen anymore. Right now we have wild flower pollen off the chart because we had terrific rains this year. But in addition, other plants not natural to our area are in bloom. For example, we have a lot of Spanish Broom and Olive along with others. I do not think the doctor would recommend us anymore for sinus problems. It may be that nowhere on Earth is untouched by foreign gardeners. Perhaps we are still better than the alternative, but I would do research on that before moving. HAHA Thanks for the comment.

STAN CHUN on March 16, 2017:

Down here we drive on the Left Hand Side of the road so my right arm gets fried in the sun. I normally roll my sleeve down to stop the burning.

It is amazing that there are thousands of skin products advertised mostly for women as beauty products yet there should be something specifically for us guys too.

Maybe a sunblock at 50+SPF rating.

I also get the sun hitting me on the RHS of the face and taking Doxycycline can make the skin redden. It is an anti biotic [broad spectrum] I take for sinus infections. We also have lots of various types of pollen down here which aggravates sinuses. Most products do not work well and there is even one that says in its adverts "Send your sinuses to Arizona.." so I presume you have lots of sand and little sinus problems.Maybe if I send me to Arizona I would have less sinus problems.

I use to wonder why the red rear stop lights on the cars down here turned orange with time. It was the strong UV made even stronger with the hole in the atmosphere over us supposedly due to spray cans.

I know Trump would not believe this so no use telling him a lot of eco problems are man made. Can even turn your hair blonde..!!

Stan Chun


New Zealand

17 March, 2017.

STAN CHUN on March 16, 2017:

The use of aspirin can bring about problems other than medical.

Some years ago I had my top off and my wife spotted a bruise on my ribcage. She asked how I got it and I said I did not know but think it was the car door that swung back and hit me as I was getting out.

She did not believe this and went bananas thinking I had another woman somewhere as she said it was a love bite. Women are strange like that. One part of your life they nag and criticize and the other can be a case of the Green Eyed Monster called Jealousy.Love and Hate go hand in hand.

After turning the house upside down and finding no other woman under the bed she began to cool down but I realized that those bruise marks could cause matrimonial problems. Being in the martial arts also gave me a lot of bruises but because the blows were not necessarily hard I ignored them. Later I went to acupuncture and came home with multiple bruise marks on my legs , arms and hands.

With this I think she became convinced that I was indeed susceptible to bruising. I also carry around some bandages too as thin skin allows you to bleed easily and profusely.

The Chinese have an amazing herb the name of which eludes me at this moment but it helps with blood circulation but on the other hand if you are cut or even shot it helps staunch the bleeding. Chinese soldiers never go on the battlefield without it as it acts against the shock of wounds. I took some to class as we used real swords for practice with. One evening my female student nicked her hand replacing the sword which has to be done without looking. She began to bleed. I gave her the Chinese herb and for sure the bleeding stopped.


Stan Chun


New Zealand

16 March, 2017.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on March 16, 2017:

Stan Chun

HaHa....This evening I went to an auction and visited with a person who frequents the same. She fell while unloading some stuff she bought at her little shop. Her arm looked awful. She laughed that people were horrified by the way it looked and thought it hurt. Of course, she said it didn't!

The sun here is very intense. I have lived here 60 years, arriving in 1954 and being away 4 years+ in the military. I did not use sun block (shame on me), but did try to wear long sleeved cotton shirts. Folks thought I was crazy in the heat, but it keeps the skin from burning too badly. Many folks here notice a propensity for thin skin worse on the left arm than the right - it is from driving with the window down and the exposed arm out.

Despite the extreme heat, I love the state of Arizona. Many times I watch movies of the old west and point out spots I recognize to my wife. Those old days are gone, but we can watch a movie about it and be entertained. I see so many old movies with characters riding beautiful horses and wish I could have one!

STAN CHUN on March 15, 2017:

Hi John,

As I get older I will develop more wrinkles especially on my arms.

The sun down here has the highest UV in the world and it can burn you whilst driving.

Never mind. If I get attacked I'll just roll up my sleeves and scare the attackers to death.

Wow.. Arizona..!!

My son passed thru or over there just a couple of months ago en route to Las Vegas.

I remember seeing all the desert from the air when I went there many years ago.Reminds me of all the old time movie stars like John Wayne, Randolph Scott, Gary Cooper etc. There was a movie called Arizona Territory.Many USA city or state names are preserved in movies. Kinda adds to the glamour.Maybe your new President will declare New York with a name change and call it Trump Territory..!!



John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on March 14, 2017:

Stan Chun

Oh, how right you are. As we age, we can only use knowledge to heal and prevent damage to the skin. At some point, the benefits of knowledge and damage prevention reach a point of no return. At what age that occurs depends on the individual. I am 68 and hope to minimize unnecessary damage as long as I can. Perhaps in 12 more years I will become a bit more fatalistic. Thanks for the comment, and good luck to you. Tai chi is a wonderful discipline, and I hope you continue it for a long time.

STAN CHUN on March 14, 2017:

I teach tai chi and martial arts and am now 80.

A couple of weeks ago I got one of my female students to parry my extended arm down with a slap. She did it hard and fast and it literally lifted me off my heels. But the next day there was a purple-red blood mark there where struck. She was shocked, but I told her not to worry. The aspirin I take causes thin blood and I bruise easily. However, the parrying technique worked now all she has to do is to get attacked.

I also notice the skin on my arms are blotched with blood marks and are now wrinkling. You can't stop the aging process forever..!!

Stan Chun


New Zealand

14 March, 2017.

Kate Swanson from Sydney on March 14, 2017:

Another wonderful remedy for clearing bruises is arnica. I bruise easily due to medication these days, but the best proof I had of arnica's effectiveness was back in the days when I was sailing. I sailed Hobie Cats and one day, we capsized while I was "hiking out" on a wire. I was thrown on to the mast then dragged under as the boat "turned turtle"(turned completely upside down). I panicked when the quick-release on the wire didn't quick-release and reckon I bashed myself on everything there was to bash myself on, before I managed to get free and get out from under the boat.

Luckily I was unhurt apart from about 30 separate bruises, some of them really sizeable, including a lump the size of an egg on my arm, which was just accumulated blood. The doctor told me it could take six months for the blood to dissipate.

Someone told me to put an arnica dressing on it. The lump had gone within a few weeks and my other bruises cleared up very quickly also.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on January 16, 2017:


Right on about aspirin. When I first wrote this article, I wasn't taking aspirin. Since then, the doc has recommended it as a prophylactic against stroke and heart attack. My forearms still remain protected with my methods, but the hands are a bit more sensitive. I thank my lucky stars that these are relatively small problems, and that I do seem to be outliving my peers. Thanks for the comment.

Demas W Jasper from Today's America and The World Beyond on January 15, 2017:

Low dose aspirin, which many seniors take to reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks (especially a recurrent heart attack) can increase the likelihood of small "bleed spots" of subcutaneous bleeds. Aging skin tends to be thinner, especially in otherwise healthy seniors with a favorable Body Mass Index of less than 25. Veins in the hands show up more distinctly, etc.

Be glad when you reach the point that these circumstances appear. At that point you will have outlived your peers.

Ripped Arms on November 30, 2016:

I too have the same problem with hands and arms getting shredded by the slightest bump or rub.

The remedy is buying arm protection sleeves, look them up on your computer. There are many good quality, and low priced ones out there.

Wrapping your arms with an Ace bandage works too.

joann on November 27, 2016:

I am 70 like to still wear panty hose with my dress rub my legs they will have blood spots any way to help

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on August 01, 2016:

Thank you for your response to my article. Your remedy is the same as my wife's! It has been a pretty hot summer.

DECoy48 on July 27, 2016:

This article nailed it. This could easily be me but substitute audio and video equipment for the cars. Well done, and I will be more careful in the future. I, too, live in Arizona. My remedy for the heat is California but that's just me. Thanks again for the nice piece.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on June 09, 2016:

Vitamin E or B cream. It happens. Good luck.

Kim Hewitt on June 09, 2016:

I've had problems with thinning skin for some time now, it's imbearest of my arms. Need help, any suggestions?

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on September 12, 2013:

I agree. Rather than worrying about leaving a trail of you know what around, better to be proactive and not concern oneself. I actually know folks who avoid activity because of thin skin - worst thing one can do, in my opinion. Thanks for taking time to comment. Be well.

Audrey Selig from Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on September 11, 2013:

Hi John Loved this hub. My skin is beginning to be thin, and I admire your ingenuity. It's a part of taking charge of your health and your working together. The coconut oil intrigues me, as I just started drinking coconut water. Thanks for sharing this information. I hope you have good traffic. Blessings. Audrey

Anjo Bacarisas II from Cagayan de Oro, Philippines on August 06, 2012:

There are lots of useful information in this hub, I like reading this pages. So thankful for the info. Doing great!

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on June 23, 2012:

Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I think you might be on to something about bruising. There are other reasons for easily bruising. In my case, the doctor did blood tests to see if I might have a bleeding disorder. Fortunately, I don't.

This kind of information is another way to direct you to professional care. And, since you mentioned it, I have also found that coconut oil has a lot of different uses and many people swear by it. Thanks again.

buckleupdorothy from Istanbul, Turkey on June 22, 2012:

Thanks for this, John! I've been spending summers with my grandparents and my grandfather especially will come in from working in the woods just covered in semi-serious looking cuts and bruises. It's very disheartening... but inspired by your wife's creative approach, I bet we can come up with something that will allow him to be as active as he's used to being, without endangering himself unnecessarily. It's something to look forward to for sure.

Chris Hugh on June 22, 2012:

Here are a few other things people with thinning skin might consider.

1) Retin-A to regularize and thicken the skin. (Need to see a doctor first.)

2) Estrogen cream to thicken the skin. (It will thicken it. It's available without an Rx, but you'd definitely want to to talk to a doctor first.)

3) Intense pulsed light therapy to rebuild collagen. (Needs to actually be done in a doctor's office.)

4) Use coconut oil (from the grocery store) as a hand lotion.

I've done all of these things. I've written some hubs on health/beauty but never one specifically on thinning skin. I wonder if easy bruising could also have something to do with a nutritional deficiency. I always used to bruise easily. A couple months ago I got tested and learned I was low in Vit D and iron. Now that I supplement, I have fewer bruises.

Interesting Hub. Up and shared.

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on April 29, 2012:

Thanks for the comment fiftyish.

I am glad you are not yet at the super thin skin stage. I think you could hold off that ageing of the skin if you try hard to remember to protect yourself. It's strange how cavalier one can get (like me) when it comes to the body. We sometimes assume the carriage will not wear out. But the truth is that we are all wearing. I recently had cataracts removed and plastic lenses put in each eye. The doctor informed me it was probably because I never wore sunglasses in Arizona. I was a bit too young to have them, apparently. So now I use the sunglasses religiously! Protect your skin all the time - thanks again.

Andy Aitch from UK & South East Asian Region on April 28, 2012:

Hello John

I just found this hub after doing a search on the ageing process. There's some really useful information in your article. I think we’ve all see parents and grandparents suffer from this 'wafer thin skin' as you call it, and most folks over a certain age certainly seem to get that blotchy effect, especially on hands and forearms.

I walk a lot in the mountains, and have recently noticed how old my own forearms and backs of hands are starting to look (although I'm still a good way off from ultra thin skin). I'm guessing this premature ageing is being caused by too much exposure to the sun.

Anyway, enjoyed your piece, and have taken some notes, so thanks for posting.

Andy Aitch

John R Wilsdon (author) from Superior, Arizona on March 22, 2012:

Thanks for informing about Turmeric. Your generosity and others' makes HubPages a great place to read!

Hiral Shukla on March 21, 2012:

Wish u a healthy life ahead. Thanks Madame for sharing a beautiful idea, i just coincidentally bleeded my aunt's arm today, getting guilt. In India, nothing can replace TURMERIC..which we used..All u old grana 7 grannies, pls take care.. 43

frogyfish from Central United States of America on December 07, 2011:

A cutely informative take on a common problem...and thanks to your smart wife for the answers! Enjoyable interesting hub, and best wishes with your dishtowel works! :-)

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