Fight Back Against Skin Changes During Menopause
With the onset of menopause comes numerous, unwanted changes to a womans skin. From the acne we thought we left behind in our teenage years, to thinning and dry skin, to the excessive growth of facial hair, whats a woman to do?
Skin changes during menopause are due to hormonal changes and fluctuations, typically beginning in a womans 40s, says Lynn M. Klein, MD, dermatologist at Lankenau Medical Center, part of Main Line Health. Fortunately, there are a multitude of options available to effectively combat these concerns.
How Is Hormonal Acne Different Than Other Breakouts
When people are teenagers, acne often pops up in the T-zone: the nose, forehead, and chin. When hormones are to blame, blemishes often appear on the lower chin and jaw. Many women deal with these breakouts once a month leading up to or during menstruation. Hormonal fluctuations during that time of the month can be to blame.
At Home And Over The Counter Treatment Options For Perimenopausal Acne Include:
- Wash the face daily. with a mild soap that wont dry your skin out, and moisturize with facial cream or lotion. Try not to scrub too hard when exfoliating this may irritate your skin. For mature skin, soap can be too drying. And you definitely want to skip the deodorant bars.
- Wash acne-prone skin with a cleanser that contains salicylic acid. This helps unclog pores.
- Use a topical anti-microbial or benzoyl peroxide to cleanse the face.
- No picking or popping. These practices, while tempting, may make the problem worse or cause scarring.
- Avoid tanning, and apply sunscreen to the face when spending time outdoors.
- Replace old cosmetics. Avoid oil-based cosmetics and choose mineral or water-based products. Wash your face of makeup daily before going to bed.
Natural treatments are usually free of the side effects sometimes caused by prescription options. But they may not be as effective. For stronger acne treatments, you are welcome to schedule an appointment with me or a dermatologist to discuss prescription options.
For stronger acne treatments, you are welcome to schedule an appointment with me or a dermatologist to discuss prescription options.
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Menopausal Hair Loss: Is It Reversible
Menopause is a time of extreme hormonal changes that typically occurs around the late 40s and early 50s. After menopause, many different physical symptoms can appear, including menopausal hair loss. These symptoms can also include hot flashes, night sweats, mood swings, insomnia, and vaginal dryness.
Many people want to know if hormonal hair loss can be reversed. The answer is yes! Fortunately, unlike genetic hair loss, most hair loss caused by hormonal imbalances is reversible.
What You Can Do
To protect your skin, you want to:
Apply sunscreen every day before going outdoors. To give your skin the protection it needs, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 30 or higher. Apply it to all skin that clothing wont cover.This can help fade age spots, prevent new spots from forming, and reduce your risk of getting skin cancer.
Make an appointment to see a dermatologist for a skin cancer screening. Your risk of getting skin cancer increases with age. As your risk rises, skin cancer screenings become so important. The earlier you find skin cancer and pre-cancerous growths, the more treatable they are.
Start skin self-exams. During your dermatology appointment, ask your dermatologist how often you should examine your own skin. You’ll find everything you need to know to examine your skin at, Detect skin cancer.
Ask your dermatologist to recommend treatment for age spots. Before you buy any treatment for age spots, see your dermatologist for a skin exam.Skin cancer sometimes looks like an age spot or other dark spot on your skin. If you use your age-spot treatment on a skin cancer, you may fade the spot and delay treatment. Delaying treatment for skin cancer gives the cancer time to possibly grow and spread. This can make the cancer more difficult to treat.After examining your skin, your dermatologist can recommend an age-spot treatment thats suitable for your skin.
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When We Think Of Maintaining The Look Of Healthy Skin More Often Than Not Facial Moisturizers And Serums Come To Mind But Theres One Very Important Part Of The Body That Can Be Overlookedand Thats The Hands
Unfortunately, the skin on our hands can reveal the passage of time most obviously in the form of age spots. These dark spots on hands, caused by years of sun exposure, are unsightly, but don’t have to be forever. With the right skin care regimen from Vaseline you can get a handle on the situation with confidence.
Identify the Symptoms of Age Spots on Hands
Think youve got em? Take note of these characteristics: Age spots are flat with an oval shape Age spots can be tan, brown or black in pigmentation Age spots can range from the size of a freckle to about ½ inch across* Typically, age spots are more common in adults over 50 Age spots have the potential to look similar to cancerous growths, but true age spots dont require medical attention*. Its best to consult a professional if you notice any changes or have questions.
Understand the Cause
Those spots are the result of overactive pigment cells. It all starts when skin is exposed to the sun for prolonged periods. The ultraviolet light speeds up the bodys natural production of melanin and, over the years, the melanin can collect and clump just below skins surface, causing brown spots on hands to appear. *
Visibly reduce the appearance of age spots on hands with an anti-aging skincare routine that includes moisturizers formulated for healthy looking, rejuvenated skin.
If you already have age spots on your hands, consider these options to help keep them from getting bigger or darker.
Vaginal And Vulvar Atrophy
Postmenopausal atrophic vaginitis, or vaginal and vulvar atrophy , is the thinning of the walls of the vagina caused by decreased estrogen levels during menopause. As a result, the lining of the vagina may be more likely to bleed.
Vaginal and vulvar atrophy is caused by cellular changes during menopause. Changes in estrogen levels also cause a decrease in blood flow to the vaginal area, which further contributes to vaginal dryness and discomfort. Spotting during and after intercourse is a common symptom of VVA.
At least half of those who enter menopause have signs and symptoms of VVA, but only 20% to 25% seek medical attention from their healthcare provider.
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Conventional Treatment Of Hyperpigmentation During And After Menopause
There are various multiple treatment alternatives to address hyperpigmentation. Menopausal and post-menopausal women are prone to this condition because the skin is weak at this point. Additionally, their bodies dont produce the desired amount of estrogen, which regulates various functions of the skin. Some of the conventional treatment options include:
Dealing With Unexpected Changes
While these changes cannot be helped, women can manage and maintain skin health in several ways. Nutrition is an excellent place to start. Make sure to keep hydrated, taking in more water than before menopause. Diet also plays a key part. Get critical nutrients like vitamin C, vitamin D, iron, and zinc through a balanced diet. At the same time, avoid creams and products that can dry out the skin. Use products containing retinoids, or zinc oxide to unclog pores and keep skin fresh. By focusing on self-care, women can significantly reduce effects.
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Treating Post Menopause Bleeding
If you have postmenopausal bleeding it is important to have it investigated.
You will most likely be referred to a gynaecologist who may:
- ask you questions about the history of your health
- examine you
- do a blood test
- look at the inside of your vagina and cervix using special tongs . At the same time, they may take a tiny sample of your cervix for testing .
The kind of treatment you have will depend on what is causing the bleeding.
- Atrophic vaginitis and thinning of the endometrium are usually treated with drugs that work like the hormone oestrogen. These can come as a tablet, vaginal gel or creams, skin patches, or a soft flexible ring which is put inside your vagina and slowly releases the medication.
- Polyps are usually removed with surgery. Depending on their size and location, they may be removed in a day clinic using a local anaesthetic or you may need to go to hospital to have a general anaesthetic.
- Thickening of the endometrium is usually treated with medications that work like the hormone progesterone and/or surgery to remove the thickening.
Before treatment there are a number of tests and investigations your gynaecologist may recommend.
All treatments should be discussed with you so that you know why a particular treatment or test is being done over another.
How To Treat Hormonal Skin In Your Perimenopausal 40s
There are many ways to balance your hormones. The important thing is to find out which hormonal imbalance you have and get the foundations right – eat well and rest. Work with a skincare professional you click with to help you learn more about yourself through diagnostic testing so you can create a bespoke plan for your future skin and health.
Hormones can be tested via blood, saliva or urine. They all have their benefits and limitations. A hormone blood test shows a snapshot in time and is better for testing extreme levels that will need medical attention. I personally like the DUTCH test which stands for ‘dried urine test for comprehensive hormone’ as part of my programmes. It looks at how your hormones are being produced, used and metabolised.
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Are There Any Treatments Out There That Can Help
Absolutely! Admittedly, it is tough to deal with aging skin and acne at the same time. But there is no reason to be disheartened. Although there is no single cure for acne, there are effective solutions out there for your complexion woes. Depending on the severity, you may find that a combination of different treatments is best.
Most acne medications are developed for younger skin, and since acne in menopause is different than in adolescence, many of these wont work as well in older women9. Some can have a harsh drying effect that may not be tolerated as well by older skin. Dr. Rivers specifically developed his new treatment to be gentle enough for the most sensitive skin types. Adult acne can also be more resistant to treatment and it may take several weeks or months for the treatments to show results, so patience is key10. Here are 8 solutions that have shown to be a great help for some individuals with adult acne:
Sun Protection Is A Must
No matter what your skin challenges are, sunscreen is your friend. Slather it on every day, all year round. Sun protection can ward off signs of aging and prevent skin cancer.
Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen thats SPF 30 or higher. Choose one you like so youll be more likely to apply it every morning. If youre going to be outside, reapply every two hours or after swimming, sweating or toweling off.
The suns rays age your skin and increase the risk of skin cancer, Dr. Williams says. Even in the winter, UV rays penetrate the clouds.
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Why Does Acne Return In Menopause
As estrogen declines in midlife, so do collagen and elastin, meaning your skin may become thinner, drier, and looser than before. Hence, wrinkles. But estrogen decline also takes with it our skins ability to ward off acne, sometimes leading to acne during and even after menopause.
According to Dr. Lortscher, As women transition into menopause, as at puberty, a relative predominance of androgens is responsible for acne breakouts in some. In general, androgens stimulate oil production and can worsen acne, while estrogens counter that effect.
Seek Help For Menopausal Skin
The changes during menopause are wide-ranging and emotionally taxing. The reduced hormones affect the look and quality of the skin. Whats more, menopause can bring along pesky acne. Acne can be a sign to visit a dermatologist. The doctor can recommend medication and treatment options to deal with the condition.
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The Many Sides Of Menopause
Read Time: 3 minutes
About 6,000 women reach menopause every day. Menopause is a normal and natural part of aging. This happens after a womans last period during the middle age. The process can also hit immediately, for example, after a hysterectomy. Menopause means the end of periods and pregnancies. However, the condition opens up a Pandoras box of side effects. From hot flashes and mood swings to weight gain and loss of libido. What many soon realize is that menopause also affects the skin. In some cases, women get acne.
Factors That Must Be Considered When Treating Acne
While the use of HRT may be helpful, when taking too much progesterone, you may experience the opposite effect – worse acne. Thatâs why it is so important to work with aging specialists that know how to balance your hormones for the best results.
Another consideration that few talks about are that as we age our skin becomes more and more sensitive to scents added to products, coloring, and cleansers that are just too harsh. These increasing skin sensitivities are due to the loss of estrogen which leads to thinner, drier skin that is more intolerant of topical medications.
A perfect example of this intolerance is seen when using topical retinoids which are vitamin A derivatives. Retinoids are very effective for acne and anti-aging, but their use must be balanced with their tendency to cause irritation. There are some over-the-counter forms of retinoids but because of the potential to worsen the skin if not used properly, it is more efficacious to use tretinoin that is available only by prescription.
Custom compounding, like that by the Winona pharmacies, allows for microencapsulation and additional ingredients like hyaluronic acid to minimize dryness and irritation. Microencapsulation is a process where tiny particles of a product are surrounded by a coating to make small capsules that can be readily absorbed.
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Estrogen And Skin Health
During your reproductive years, the hormone estrogen helped keep your skin healthy and supple. Once estrogen production slows down, your skin thins and dries out, especially in sensitive areas like your face.
The loss of estrogen can show on your skin starting in perimenopause, which is the period leading up to menopause when hormone levels start to decline.
During this time, your body becomes more sensitive to temperature. You may have episodes in which you suddenly feel hot and sweaty, and your face gets red and flushed. This common menopause symptom is called a hot flash.
A lack of estrogen can also make your skin itch or cause it to be more sensitive than usual. This sensitivity makes you more likely to get a rash or hives when youre exposed to irritating substances like itchy fabrics, perfumes, and dyes.
A lack of estrogen also prevents your skin from
Why Are All Of These Changes Happening
As with most things related to life cycles, midlife acne is hormone-driven. Hormones are powerful messengers in your body and when off balance can lead to a world of unpleasant symptoms. The good news is, the imbalance is treatable. Our skin is made up of several layers, and the dermis, or the thickest layer of your skin, is sensitive to the decrease in hormones that occur with aging and menopause.
Our dance with the hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone is thrown out of balance as women enter perimenopause, which starts in a womanâs late 30s or 40s, and acne skin problems often follow. The average age of menopause is 51.
These acne breakouts are very different from adolescent acne. Menopausal acne follows a âcysticâ pattern along the jawline. The jawline area, along with the upper lip, is where you may also notice new and unwanted hair growth. In addition, you may notice thinning of the hair at the crown . These changes are driven by hormonal imbalance.
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When To Check With Your Doctor
Most midlife breast changes are normal. But you canât be sure on your own. Talk to your doctor if you notice any of these problems:
- A lump or a firm or thick area in your breast or under your arm.
- Nipple discharge fluid or changes, such as a nipple that becomes sunken into the breast, also called “inverted.”
- Skin changes, such as redness, dimpling, puckering, or ridges that look like orange peel.
- Unexplained swelling or shrinkage of the breast, especially on one side only.
Most of the time, breast changes are not cancer, but itâs important to get any new or unusual symptom checked out quickly.
Also talk to your doctor about how often you should get mammograms, since guidelines vary. The American Cancer Society recommends one every year, starting when youâre 45. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recommends offering average-risk patients mammograms beginning at age 40. Other groups advise every 2 years when you turn 50 until youâre 74.
You may need to start sooner if youâre at high risk.
Your doctor can help you decide whatâs best for you.
Is Anything Else Going On
Too many androgens – either natural or because of taking them can also cause extra hairs on the face and other ‘male body changes’ like deepening voice, greasy hair, hair loss and growth of the clitoris.
If youve noticed any of these signs in addition to acne, then please also go and see your GP. Most older women with angry skin have normal androgen levels but occasionally other hormonal irregularities can be at fault.
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