Understanding the Connection Between Menopause and Skin Health
Menopause marks a transitional phase in the life of a woman, where her body begins to down regulate the hormones necessary for fertility. These fluctuating hormone levels can affect the health and well being of a woman in many ways. One area that is often overlooked yet significantly affected by menopause, is the skin.
The Physical Effects of Menopause on Skin
The most common physical changes to the skin experienced by women during menopause include:
- Dryness: Due to the lack of estrogen production, skin can start to become dry, inflamed and itchy.
- Thinning skin: During menopause, collagen production slows, leading to thinning of the skin.
- Increased wrinkling: Without collagen, the skin can start to lose its elasticity and wrinkles will become more prevelant.
- Changes in Texture: The decreased production of oxygenated blood can cause the skin to become rough and irregular.
The Emotional Effects of Menopause on the Skin
For many women, menopause brings changes that cannot be observed externally. During menopause, a woman’s emotional state may become more fragile and this can manifest on the skin. Some of the most basic signs of menopause induced skin issues can be broken down into the following categories:
- Acne: During menopause, women may experience an increase in breakouts due to the increased production of stress hormones.
- Changes in complexion: Menopause can cause the skin to become paler and more discolored.
- Itching: As with dryness, itching may occur due to decreased hormone production.
How to Improve Menopause-Related Skin Issues
Although many of the menopause related skin issues mentioned above can be difficult to treat, there are a few improvements you can make to counteract them.
- Proper diet: Ensuring you’re getting the right nutrients is essential in maintaining healthy skin. Choose fresh fruits, vegetables and lean proteins.
- Use hormonal treatments: Although hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is not recommended for all women, some will find that the introduction of hormones can help restore the skin’s balance.
- Manage stress: Stress is one of the biggest triggers for skin issues, so be sure to get plenty of rest, practice relaxation techniques and exercise.
- Protect skin from the sun: Sun exposure can cause further damage, so be sure to use a non-comedogenic sunscreen of SPF 30 or higher.
- Treat the skin gently: Avoid harsh skincare products and opt for oil-based replacements such as, almond oil or coconut oil.
The Bottom Line
Menopause brings many physical and emotional changes that can significantly affect the skin. To improve menopause related skin issues, it is important to take care of the body and mind and to protect the skin from further damage.