Patients suffering from collagen VI related myopathies caused by mutations in COL6A1, COL6A2 and COL6A3 often also display skin abnormalities, like formation of keloids or "cigarette paper" scars, dry skin, striae rubrae and keratosis pilaris (follicular keratosis). Here we evaluated if Col6a1 null mice, an established animal model for the muscle changes in collagen VI related myopathies, are also suitable for the study of mechanisms leading to the skin pathology. We performed a comprehensive study of the expression of all six collagen VI chains in unwounded and challenged skin of wild type and Col6a1 null mice. Expression of collagen VI chains is regulated in both skin wounds and bleomycin-induced fibrosis and the collagen VI α3 chain is proteolytically processed in both wild type and Col6a1 null mice. Interestingly, we detected a decreased tensile strength of the skin and an altered collagen fibril and basement membrane architecture in Col6a1 null mice, the latter being features that are also found in collagen VI myopathy patients. Although Col6a1 null mice do not display an overt wound healing defect, these mice are a relevant animal model to study the skin pathology in collagen VI related disease.