Many different types of skin damage cause aging skin. And the most common type of damage is caused by a process called transepidermal water loss. Also known as TEWL, transepidermal water loss is signified by the skin’s inability to retain water, or moisture. This often happens due to the deterioration of collagen. Basically, since aging skin has trouble holding structure, it also has trouble keeping moisture in. And moisture is the main delivery of nutrients and oxygen. So when this is lacking, your skin starts to show damage, or at least dehydration.
TEWL can be one of the main reasons for signs of aging. If your skin cells are not getting enough moisture, they’re also not getting enough nutrients. And since your skin needs to renew itself often, it’s vital that these nutrients revitalize your skin with ease. Once this is rejuvenation is disabled, wrinkles, dark circles, depigmentation, and dull, loosening skin may appear.
TEWL And The Layers Of The Skin
TEWL only affects a few layers of the skin. The epidermis contains many different layers that have different properties. And the epidermis also contains the skin’s sealant. This means that no moisture passes this boundary. More specifically, it’s the layer of the epidermis called the stratus corneum that contains fats, or lipids, that work to repel water. So anything below this layer is not involved in the transepidermal water loss process. Everything above this layer depends on moisture, and thus is highly affected by TEWL.
It’s also important to understand how a lack of hydration affects the skin. Some may believe dry skin and dehydrated skin are the same. However, that’s just not the case. Dry skin is a skin type. Typically, throughout your life, you’ll have either dry, combination, or oily skin. This is something that sticks with you no matter what. But it may change through different phases. Dehydrated skin happens when your skin simply doesn’t have enough moisture. And this may be another cause of TEWL – or at least it doesn’t help the process get better.
How Does TEWL Occur?
Similarly, to dehydrated skin, TEWL may happen due to environmental factors. Climate, pollution humidity, temperature, and the time of year may make TEWL more likely to happen. Sometimes TEWL happens earlier is a person’s life, and this can occur due to injury, infection, and severe damage. Basically, this damage to the stratus coreum results in excess water loss to your skin.
For the most part, those who experience severe burns experience TEWL at an earlier age. And if they don’t receive the proper care after the burn, TEWL is more difficult to reverse. There are also certain diseases and medical conditions that prevent water retention in your skin.
Signs Of TEWL
Signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines, sagging, loosening skin, dull color, rough texture, and even signs like puffiness may indicate transpeidermal water loss. The fact is everyone is different. And we all have different types of skin and levels of skin damage. So, if you are worried that you may suffer from TEWL, it’s best to speak with your doctor. Or try an anti-aging skin care product designed to combat TEWL. You may see amazing effects with some of the more innovative products out there nowadays.