Hyperelastic skin

Definition

Hyperelastic skin is skin that can be stretched beyond what is considered normal. The skin returns to normal after it is stretched.

Alternative Names

India rubber skin

Considerations

Hyperelasticity occurs when there is a problem with how the body makes collagen or elastin fibers. These are types of proteins that makes up much of the body's tissue.

Causes

Hyperelastic skin is most often seen in people who have Ehlers-Danlos syndrome. People with this disorder have very elastic skin. They also have joints that can be bent more than is normally possible. For this reason, they are sometimes referred to as rubber men or women.

Other conditions that may cause skin that is easily stretched include:

Home Care

You need to take special steps to avoid skin damage when you have this condition because your skin is more delicate than normal. You are more likely to get cuts and scrapes, and scars may stretch and become more visible.

Talk to your health care provider about what you can do for this problem. Get skin check-ups often.

If you need surgery, discuss with your provider how the wound will be dressed and cared for after the procedure.

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call your provider if:

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

Your provider will do a physical exam to assess your skin, bones, muscles, and joints.

Questions your provider might ask about you or your child are:

Genetic counseling may be helpful to determine if you have an inherited disorder.

References

Islam MP, Roach ES. Neurocutaneous syndromes. In: Jankovic J, Mazziotta JC, Pomeroy SL, Newman NJ, eds. Bradley and Daroff's Neurology in Clinical Practice. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2022:chap 99.

James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM. Abnormalities of dermal fibrous and elastic tissue. In: James WD, Elston DM, Treat JR, Rosenbach MA, Neuhaus IM, eds. Andrews' Diseases of the Skin: Clinical Dermatology. 13th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 25.


Review Date: 11/4/2020
Reviewed By: Elika Hoss, MD, Senior Associate Consultant, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.
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