Dry Itchy Skin: Still Scratching
The hormone changes of menopause aren’t the only causes of dry skin. Hypothyroidism, fungal infections, vitamin deficiencies, and other issues can also lead to skin care problems, too.
If you follow a careful skin care regimen and still have dry skin problems, it may be time to call a dermatologist.
“Perimenopause and menopause can lead to many changes, not just dry skin,” says Tanzi. Acne, wrinkles, and thinning skin can all show up around this time, making it hard to figure out how to care for skin. A dermatologist can help you develop a regimen tailored to you particular skin care needs.
Check the American Academy of Dermatology’s web site to locate board-certified dermatologists in your area, or ask your primary care physician for a recommendation.
Dry skin at menopause may take you by surprise, but fortunately you’ve got lots of choices to help you care for that beautiful skin you’re in.
How Your Current Skincare Routine Affects Hormone
The drop in hormones is an unavoidable part of life, but there are some practices in your skincare routine that could be exacerbating this side effect of menopause. Over-washing your face, central heat and air, cold climates, and even sweating profusely can all cause further dehydration. Other medical conditions can also be a contributing factor.
“While climate and product-related causes can be easily identified and solved, hormonal imbalances can be more difficult to target,”Dr. Zenovia, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of an eponymous skincare line, points out.
Other Things You Can Do
- Use a gentle cleanser
- Avoid skin and beauty products that contain alcohol
- Get enough sleep
- Protect your lips with lip balm containing SPF
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid taking long showers and baths
- Use warm rather than hot water for showers and baths
- Apply moisturizer immediately after washing your face and body
- Dont use the same moisturizer for face and body because skin on these parts has different needs
Also Check: Relactation After Menopause
Menopause Eczema: Causes And Treatments
Menopause is described as a permanent irreversible termination of the menstrual cycle in a woman. This is associated with a decrease in female reproductive hormones. Such hormonal variation results in a number of psychological, physical, and sexual changes in menopausal women. Related dermatological conditions can be categorized as age-related changes, physiological changes, and changes due to estrogen deficiency.
Physical symptoms include hot flushes and night sweats, bone and joint pain, tiredness, itchy skin, disturbed sleep or insomnia, breast tenderness, skin aging, etc. Psychological symptoms include memory loss, depression, irritability, poor concentration, mood swings, anxiety, loss of confidence, and many more.
A variety of factors, namely lifestyle and occupation, physical health, interpersonal relationships, and social status affects a womans attitude to menopause. This also affects her perception of the severity of menopausal symptoms.
How We Eat Affects Everything Including Our Skin
I eat the Keto-green wayand it has done wonders for my skin. Well, my skin isnt exactly the way it was when I was younger, but its supple and soft. Love how it looks!
The Keto-green diet happens to be hormone balancing, anti-inflammatory and gut-friendly too. So, thats a big bonus! Following this diet is a no-brainer and its not restricting.
Below are Keto foods to eat!
- Fatty fish such as salmon, cod, herring, tuna and halibut.
- Walnuts, Brazil nuts, flax seeds, sunflower seeds, chia and pumpkin seeds are good to consume.
- Bone broth, grass-fed lean meat, organic eggs, shellfish and seafoods.
- Dark leafy greens, cruciferous veggies, legumes, avocado, citrus fruits and berries.
These foods are rich in collagen, a major protein the builds new skin cells and repairs damaged ones. Bone broth, in particular, has very high collagen content. Besides keeping the skin healthy, bone broth also heals our gut and improves bones and joint health.
Besides collagen, the foods I mentioned are also rich in healthy fats such as omega-3 and omega-6. These essential fatty acids help produce hormones, stimulate oil production and regenerate the skin. However, we need to make sure that our diet includes a balanced amount of omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids to get their health benefits.
Recommended Reading: Sweet Potatoes And Menopause
What To Do About Itchy Menopause Skin
While drinking more water is popular advice for dry skin, it isnt super helpful in this instance because your skin isnt retaining moisture like it did when you were younger. The best remedies work from the outside to minimize the amount of water your skin cells are losing.
Slather on moisturizer. It comes in lotions, creams, ointments, and oils so pick your favorite. A moisturizer creates an effective barrier to prevent your skin from losing more moisture. Products with the fewest harsh chemicals, like sulfates, and no fragrances, such as petroleum jelly or coconut oil, are usually best tolerated. Or look for natural products with anti-inflammatory properties that are rich in vitamins, antioxidants, oleic acids, and fatty acids. For best results, always apply a moisturizer after a bath or shower while skin is still damp to lock in moisture.
Turn down the temp. A hot, steamy shower or soak in the hot tub may sound or even feel luxurious, but hot water damages skin and can increase dryness. Instead keep the water lukewarm and limit showers to no more than 10 minutes, once a day. And skip the hot tub. Bonus: a cool shower before bed may also reduce night-time hot flashes.
Always wear sunscreen. It may not replace the moisture thats lost, but it can help protect your skin from further sun damage which dries it out more. Use an SPF 30 or higher on all exposed areas, year-round.
Hormonal Fluctuations & Dry Skin
Dry skin is a common side effect of hormonal imbalances- especially in women. Aging, menopause, and a womans menstrual cycle can all be linked to the production of the hormone, estrogen. When estrogen levels are not optimal, dry skin commonly results.
Estrogen plays a major role in sexual development during a womans key life stages including puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Estrogen levels can directly affect the skin and a multitude of other physiologic functions. Estrogen affects the production of elastin, collagen, and hyaluronic acid which contributes to the skins moisture retention and elasticity. Scientific studies have demonstrated a clear relationship between estrogen levels and the age women appear due to their overall skin health. The decrease in estrogen during perimenopause, menopause, and a womans menstrual cycle causes trans-epidermal water loss leading to dehydration. As a result, a womans skin will feel drier, rough, and appear more wrinkled.
You May Like: Is Lightheadedness A Symptom Of Menopause
Ways Menopause Affects Your Skin
The largest organ of the body is your skin. The way it looks can dramatically affect the way you feel.
During menopause, unfortunately, the skin can undergo many changes. Well explore 8 of these changes.
First, though, well take a glimpse at the role of hormones when it comes to the elasticity in your skin
How To Treat Menopausal Dryness In Your Skincare Routine
In short: Look for hydrating treatments that contain collagen-boosting ingredients, along with gentle product formulas to support them, such as a non-stripping cleanser.
Dr. Zenovia recommends the Bakuchoil Hydrating Cleanser because it “thoroughly removes environmental pollutants, excess oil, and makeup while refreshing and moisturizing the skin with yucca root and panthenol.”
As for treatments, a water-based serum is ideal for morning because they absorb quicker, while an oil-based formula takes a bit longer, making it ideal for night. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which plumps skin and draws in moisture, and vitamin C, an antioxidant that supports collagen. MMRevive Serum from Dr. Marmur’s line, Beauty Pie’s Hyaluronic Acid & Lipopeptide Serum, and PCA Skin’s C-Quench Antioxidant Serum are a few solid options.
And don’t forget moisturizer. Look for a formula that’s fragrance-neutral, and contains ingredients like ceramides, glycerin, and hyaluronic acid, all of which will strengthen the skin barrier to seal in moisture and minimize transepidermal water loss.
Recommended Reading: Are Sweet Potatoes Good For Menopause
Can Menopause Cause A Rash
Lack of estrogen can make your skin itch or make it more vulnerable than usual. This increase in sensitivity makes you more likely to develop a rash. This often happens when you are prone to harmful substances such as perfumes, dyes, or itchy fabrics. Reduced estrogen also prevents the skin from healing as easily as it did before.
It is not necessary that you will develop a skin rash during menopause. However, it is normal for you to experience skin reddening and irritation. This is typically short-lived and will stop once a hot flash disappears.
What’s Happening: Dry Skin And Menopause
Somewhere between the ages of 40 and 58 most women enter menopause. This is when the ovaries stop releasing eggs, periods come to an end, and the production of estrogen begins to decline.
Estrogen is a powerhouse hormone. It stimulates maturation of a girl’s body at puberty. It helps keep a woman’s bones strong.
Another thing estrogen does is stimulate the formation of skin-smoothing collagen and oils. That’s why, as menopause approaches and estrogen production diminishes, dry, itchy skin becomes very common, says Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery.
That reduction of estrogen, and the changing ratios of hormones in your body, don’t just slow down your body’s oil production, they also reduce your body’s ability to retain moisture.
While a parched t-zone or flakey elbows may be the first places you notice the changes, “it really is a whole-body phenomenon,” says Tanzi, with dry skin appearing just about anywhere, from the oil-gland-dense face, back, and chest, to elbows, legs, genitals — even nails.
The changes to your skin can start as early as perimenopause, and they’re permanent, Tanzi says. Fortunately, easing the itch and combating the dry skin associated with menopause is largely in your hands.
Recommended Reading: How To Increase Breast Size After Menopause
What Herbal Remedies Could Help Me
A good remedy to start with is the extract of soy. This supplement may be used before, during and after the menopause and can help with a wide variety of mild complaints experienced during this time of life.
“Menopause support tablets have eased my problems. I would recommend them to any one suffering the effects of the menopause.”Although itchy skin during the menopause is best treated ‘from the inside’ some woman find that Neem can be useful to soothe the skin whilst other steps taken work their way through the body.
General Menopause And Post
Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol excessively: Alcohol and tobacco can significantly affect your skins appearance.
Avoid stress: although menopause comes with lots of emotional changes, ensure that you avoid stress at all costs. A high level of stress can decrease the level of estrogen further and your skin discoloration may even get worse.
Engage in facial exercises: These are activities which help to exercise your facial muscles.
Change your diet: Eat more fruits and vegetables. They contain fiber and protein which help to nourish the skin.
On the other hand, avoid processed foods and those with high sugar content. Besides that, ensure that you drink water frequently on a daily basis.
Limit your skins exposure to sunlight: Although your skin needs vitamin D, limit your exposure to sunlight. If you want to bask, do so early in the morning or late in the evening.
Additionally, make sure that you use an SPF day cream whenever you are going out.
Take supplements: note that menopausal skin is usually dry because of lack of nutrients and oil. So, take supplements which have high amounts of omega 3 and 6. They help to increase the production of collagen and regulate hormonal production. All these have significant effects on the pigmentation of the skin.
Also Check: Is Lightheadedness A Symptom Of Menopause
What Is The Best Diet For Women With Menopausal Acne
Most dermatologists agree that diet plays a role in acne. Although the exact effect of food on acne is not apparent, it disbelieved that reducing cows milk dairy and high glycemic food and refined carbs can help with acne treatment and reduce the frequency and severity of acne breakouts.
Try to limit alcohol and caffeine and ditch the junk food. To improve your skin and reduce your acne breakouts, look for foods rich in the fatty acids omega-3 and 6, such as oily fish and chia and flaxseeds, and fill your diet with whole-grain, fiber-rich products. Cruciferous vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, broccoli, and cauliflower are beneficial because they contain a DIM compound that helps with hormonal balance. You can also look for DIM supplements .
Drink a lot of water. Dehydration makes your skin rough and dry. When the skin too dry, the skin oil glands produce more oil to moisturize the skin. The excess of skin oil mixed with the dead skin cells clog the skin pores and can cause more acne.
It Only Affects The Skin On Your Face
While the symptoms of menopausal dry skin commonly affect the skin on your face, its important to remember that it can affect the whole body, from your arms, legs and back to your feet and even the delicate vaginal area.
You can help to reduce the effects of menopausal dry skin by using gentle, unscented soaps, cleansers and deodorants, to help preserve your skins natural oils and avoid irritating sensitive skin.
The Live Better With community recommend Weleda calendula soap and Skin Blossom Cleanse & Nourish Body Wash. Avoid taking very hot baths or showers, and always remember to moisturise your skin afterwards.
You May Like: Menopause Hair Texture
The Subcutaneous Fat Layer
Its the deepest layer of the skin. This fat layer has an extensive network of fat cells and collagen. Its responsible for protecting the body against injuries thanks to the fat, which acts as a shock absorber. Additionally, it helps to conserve heat in the body. The overall nature of the skin is to act as a protector. Its the primary barrier that protects the body against micro-organisms invasion, dehydration, and environmental pollution.
Menopause And Itchy Skin
One of the most common problems that women in menopause complain about is dry, itchy skin. Again, we can thank our dropping estrogen levels for this inconvenience. Low estrogen levels are linked to a decrease in collagen production and an increase in pH levels.
Low collagen levels means that our skin wont produce as much natural oil, so it will become dry and flaky.
You May Like: Menopause And Hair Texture
Remedies For Countering The Effects Of Menopause On Your Skin
If you want to stop short of cosmetic surgery but you want to fight back against the way menopause is ravaging your skin, youve got plenty of options at your disposal.
Vergo is an interactive program that gives women the tools to understand their Menopause.
- The Vergo iOS symptom tracker
- The Vergo QuikTrak symptom tracker
- Vergos Interactive Education Program, Journey Without a Roadmap: Understanding Menopause
- Curated guides to the biggest questions and hottest topics around menopause symptoms and treatment options
- Must-have information on male menopause: Theres an Andropause?
- Terminology Cheat Sheets
Excellent article. I am going through some of these issues as well..
Have Your Thyroid Hormones Checked
Although this is not some skincare advice but it is equally important. Evidence shows that menopausal and postmenopausal women can also have hypothyroidism . In hypothyroidism, the gland doesnt produce sufficient amounts of much-needed hormones T3 and T4.
Women are more prone to hypothyroidism than men, especially middle-aged ladies. This also happens to be the time when they enter menopause. Why is this important? Hypothyroidism causes a multitude of symptoms and changes in the body and dry skin is one of them. A growing body of evidence confirms that skin in hypothyroid individuals is rough and covered with fine scales.
Schedule an appointment and have your thyroid hormones checked. If you do have hypothyroidism or some other thyroid disorder, your doctor will recommend an adequate treatment to normalize the hormone levels. This can also help combat dryness associated with menopausal skin.
Don’t Miss: Is Dizziness A Symptom Of Menopause
Take Care Of Your Face
For dry skin on the face, Dr. Cambio recommends topical antioxidants like green tea or vitamin C. Other effective moisturizers include lactic acid, hyaluronic acid, and shea butter.
To allow the products to penetrate better, experts suggest exfoliating with a gentle scrub or products with alpha- or beta-hydroxy acids.
Applying Some Moisturiser Will Do The Trick
Keeping your skin hydrated by applying a good moisturiser regularly is very important to help combat the effects of dry skin. The Live Better With community recommend Hot Beauty Morning Moisturiser and Lyonsleaf Calendula Cream.
However, making some simple lifestyle changes can also help reduce the effects of menopausal dry skin. To help keep skin as healthy as possible you should eat a balanced diet which includes plenty of lean protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and essential Omega-3 fatty acids – these can help to boost your skins natural oils and can be found in foods such as salmon, sardines, walnuts and flax.
Smoking and alcohol can also worsen the effects of dry and itchy skin, so you should aim to reduce or minimise your intake.
You May Like: Are More Frequent Periods A Sign Of Menopause
When To See A Doctor
If your symptoms persist even after trying home remedies, you must schedule an appointment with your doctor or visit a clinic for medical assistance. In such cases, prescription medications may be vital.
Some over-the-counter medicines are also available to treat such symptoms. This includes steroid and anesthetic creams, which might provide temporary relief. However, it is best to consult a doctor before starting self-treatment.
You must immediately consult a doctor if you develop a fever along with a rash, or if your rash spreads quickly to other parts of your body.