Not all skin types become less sensitive as we age.

Not all skin types become less sensitive as we age.

About the episode

Touch and being touched are very important to us humans. Just as they are to most primates. Without touch, just think about that Covid period, where we produce more stress hormones, among other things.

Gentle touches provide chemicals that make us feel good. And being able to feel good naturally helps us pick up all kinds of things, move them carefully, and touch others in a pleasurable way.

It has long been thought that, just like our sight and hearing, our touch also deteriorates as we age. But new research suggests that this is not entirely the case.

For the study, they studied 96 female volunteers between the ages of 20 and 75. They tested the skin sensitivity on the tip of the finger, on the forearm, and on the cheek.

In one experiment, participants had to touch various surface structures themselves, and in other experiments their skin was touched, from tangible to almost imperceptible.

Both studies showed that finger sensitivity decreased with age. This did not apply to the cheek and forearm. These are areas where all types of hair are found, even in women.

This was quite a surprising finding since hairless skin often has more receptors. You would think that the skin would be more sensitive.

A similar study among men might be a nice addition, but for now it’s interesting to consider that these hairs not only protect us from bacteria and the elements, but may also act as a kind of touch antenna.

Maybe shave less often…

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Read more about the research here: Study shows hairy skin does not become less sensitive with age

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