by Daniel Laberge
Human grooming

Skin tension

Any tension or hardness in your skin should be removed.

Lion mother carrying baby by the neck

© Paul Goldstein

Lioness carrying her cub by the neck.

The more tense your skin is, the more folded it is.

Skin tension evaluation methods

Here are three  methods to evaluate how tense the skin of an area has become.

Method 1 -
Estimating skin tension by pressing your nail

Nail depth compared

The deeper your nail can depress the skin, the less tense and folded it is.

Method 2 -
The skin tension pinch

Pulling the skin up

Is your skin supple?

Method 3 -
The X-Y motion

Moving left and right

Up to what point

will the skin follow your nail?

Folds and skin tension

Folds and fold crossings solidify the skin

First, two folds appear
A crossing appears
The fold and crossing deepen

Folds on a child

Folds on an adult

Folds on an elderly

As you age, your skin loses its elasticity and becomes tight.
It hugs whatever is beneath it.

Not tense everywhere;

flabs of sagging skin between the folds

Loose skin between the folds

Loose, hanging skin

between the folds and crossings.

Skin tension redistribution

Grooming and tension redistribution

Evenly distributed tensions

The red fold crossing has developed an equilibrium between the tugs of its neighboring crossings.

Grooming one crossing only

In this hypothetical skin,

all fold crossings (circles) are equal.

What happens when you groom only the red one?

Groomed crossing

Grooming the red fold crossing reduces the skin tension at that spot.

Redistribution of tensions

After tension redistribution.
Even if the neighboring crossings have not been groomed, their tension has diminished.

Moving your pain around

Fold crossings along a circular fold

If you groom only one side of your body, the other side may react badly.

Lion mother carrying baby by the neck