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Menopause & Your Skin

By DuPage Medical Group Dermatology

Many women who think of menopause automatically think of hot flashes and night sweats and are not prepared for the effects this internal change has on their skin. Women may experience acne flair ups, increased oil production, dull skin, melasma or develop unwanted facial hair. Menopause can cause a wide range of skin care problems to develop seemingly over night. In response to the hormonal changes going on within your body, your skin starts to thin and may start to sag as skin looses some of its elasticity. Sun spots and other pigmentation issues are more common with age and can become more pronounced during menopause as well.

The decline in your estrogen levels is a huge factor in the acceleration of signs of aging on the surface of your skin. Menopausal skin is more prone to sun damage because estrogen that helps to regulate the maintenance of Melanocytes is lower which in turn decreases the production of protective melanin in the skin. It is especially important to use an SPF daily to protect your skin as its natural defense barrier starts to break down. Estrogen also helps to promote the production and repair of collagen in the skin. When estrogen levels decline during menopause, so does your skins ability to produce and repair collagen and in turn we lose our skin’s resiliency. Blood flow in the skin can also be reduced which can contribute to the thinning of the skin and a slower cell turnover rate which produces drier, dull skin.

During menopause, testosterone levels tend to be less suppressed which can kick oil glands into overdrive and can cause oily skin and adult acne to flair in some women. Increased testosterone may also cause some women to develop facial hair as well. Whether you are just starting to notice subtle changes or are already well into menopause, the right skin care routine can make a huge difference. These simple tips can help keep menopause induced skin issues in check.

  • Wash your face twice a day with a cleanser appropriate for your sin type.
  • Make sure you are applying an SPF30 or greater every day (reapply every two hours when outdoors).
  • Invest in product s rich in antioxidants that work to help restore the skin’s barrier.
  • Incorporate an exfoliant into your routine to help remove built-up debris and dead skin cells and stimulate collagen formation.
  • Vitamin A products like retinols are clinically proven to help generate healthy skin cell production and fight signs of age.
  • To combat skin discoloration talk to your dermatologist about a skin lightening product. Chemical peels and lasers also work wonders for stubborn pigmentation issues.
  • Moisturize! It is important to use products that are right for your skin type. If you have drier skin an emollient lotion or cream is ideal. If you have oily or combination skin, use a lightweight gel or serum to add hydration.

While these skin issues can be irritating, unlike many other unpleasant effects of menopause, with the right skin care regimen you can effectively overcome or control many of your hormone induced skin problems. Your dermatologist can help you find appropriate treatments and skin care products to get you looking and feeling like yourself again.

Topics and Subtopics: Women's Health & Skin Health

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