Skin normally stretches and returns to its normal position if it’s well hydrated and healthy. Hyperelastic skin stretches beyond its normal limit.
Hyperelastic skin can be a symptom of many diseases and conditions. If you have symptoms of hyperelastic skin, talk to your healthcare provider. It’s almost exclusively caused by genetic diseases.
Collagen and elastin, which are substances found in the skin, control skin elasticity. Collagen is a form of protein that makes up a majority of tissues in your body.
Increased elasticity — hyperelasticity — of the skin is seen when there are problems with the normal production of these substances.
Hyperelasticity is most common in people with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (EDS), a condition resulting from a gene mutation. There are several known subtypes.
EDS causes problems with connective tissue in the body. People with this condition may have excessive stretching of their skin and joints.
Marfan’s syndrome may also cause hyperelastic skin.
If you or your child has abnormally stretchy skin or extremely delicate skin, make an appointment to see your healthcare provider.
They’ll examine your skin and may refer you to a dermatologist. A dermatologist is a specialist in skin care and diseases that affect the skin. Your healthcare provider may also refer you to a geneticist, who can perform further testing.
If your skin stretches more than normal, consult your healthcare provider for a diagnosis. They’ll perform a physical examination and ask you questions about your symptoms, which may include:
- when you first noticed the stretchy skin
- if it developed over time
- if you have a history of easily damaged skin
- if anyone in your family has EDS
Make sure to mention any other symptoms you have in addition to stretchy skin.
There’s no single test to diagnose hyperelastic skin other than a physical exam.
However, symptoms along with stretchy skin may help your healthcare provider determine the cause. They may perform additional tests depending on your diagnosis.
Hyperelastic skin currently can’t be treated. However, the underlying condition should be identified to prevent complications.
For example, EDS is typically managed with a combination of physical therapy and prescription medication. Sometimes, if needed, surgery may be recommended as a treatment method.
You can’t prevent hyperelastic skin. However, identifying the underlying cause can help your healthcare provider determine the appropriate medical attention to prevent any complications that can be associated with the disorder.