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Is Being Itchy Part Of Menopause

Ask The Gp: Menopause May Be Causing Your Infuriating Itch

WATCH: Your itchy skin could indicate a bigger problem

Q: IM 57 and had a hysterectomy over five years ago. I am now going through the menopause. Most of my symptoms are fairly mild, apart from the itchy skin, which affects my legs and arms and drives me mad.

A: Your dreadful itching is most likely to be a response to lower levels of oestrogen caused by the menopause.

Oestrogen deficiency reduces collagen in the skin the vital protein that gives it strength and elasticity. These changes in menopause can cause excessive dryness and widespread itching, technically known as pruritus.

Many menopausal women also experience marked hair loss as a symptom, yet little is made of either in the literature on this topic.

Nevertheless, pruritus is common in men and women and may be nothing to do with menopause. It can be due to an inflammatory skin condition such as contact dermatitis, a side-effect of kidney disease or a number of liver disorders, iron deficiency anaemia or other blood system disorders, and endocrine and metabolic conditions including thyroid disease . It is important not to ignore these possibilities.

In terms of treatment, if your GP agrees the menopause is the cause, there are two suggestions. The first is to use an emollient moisturiser, twice daily, without fail at least one application after a shower to trap moisture in the skin. Suitable options are Diprobase or Doublebase, available in most pharmacies.

But there is no one prescription.

Natural Remedies To Ease This Symptom

A number of menopause natural remedies exist that may help ease the severity and frequency of hives outbreaks.

Of course, if you are under a doctors care and/or taking any required medications for a chronic health condition, always talk with your doctor before altering your daily health regimen and diet program.

Skin dryness during perimenopause is linked to declines in hormone levels which can in turn give rise to hives.

Dry And Itchy Skin In Menopause: Its Causes And Treatment Options

Most women approaching menopause know about hot flashes and night sweats, but other side effects of menopause are not often discussed, such as dry and itchy skin after menopause. Hormonal changes during menopause can cause a range of skin complaints, including hot flashes, sweating, and itchiness.

Dry skin actually results from the decreasing estrogen levels in the bloodstream at the onset of menopause. Estrogen stimulates the bodys production of collagen and oils, which keep the skin naturally moisturized through most of a womans life. Once your estrogen levels begin to decline, your bodys ability to produce oil slows down, leaving your skin dry and itchy.

One of many menopause symptoms, you might start to notice your skin drying out on the elbows and the T-zone the area of your face covered by a capital T, which includes the forehead, nose, and chin. However, dry patches can appear anywhere, including your chest and back, arms, legs, and even genitals.

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Menopause / Low Estrogen Levels

You may think that menopause is still a long ways away, but women can begin to experience symptoms of menopause as many as ten years before actually reaching full menopausethats as early as late thirties for some women. This is referred to as perimenopause. Vaginal itching is a common symptom of low estrogen levels, which cause vaginal dryness. Over time, vaginal dryness leads to irritation and itching, and can even be painful. Low estrogen levels, though most often related to menopause, can also affect much younger women. Genetics, thyroid problems, and even excessive exercise can cause low estrogen levels. Cancer treatment can also lower estrogen levels. Depending on your other symptoms, if any, and results of tests to check for more common causes of vaginal dryness blood tests can determine whether or not your estrogen levels are low.

The Typical Itching Experience

Dry Itchy Skin

There are various symptoms reported by women going through menopause. Dry and itchy skin occur in the back, arms and legs, neck and chest. Women may also report skin rash, irritated skin and even miniature bumps on the skin.

Itchy skin is most likely to occur on your:

  • Face and Neck
  • Late nights and bad sleep patterns
  • Certain soaps and lotions that may cause irritation

Things that may assist include:

  • Healthy diet rich in omega 3 and B vitamins
  • Adequate daily water intake
  • Sun protection

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Soothing Itchiness During Menopause

If you are going through perimenopause and are experiencing uncomfortable, itchy skin, there are certain things that you can try to help ease discomfort:

  • Avoid scratching itching can damage and tear the skin, especially if its already inflamed or sensitive. Though its tempting to scratch, try applying a cool compress on the problem area instead. You might also consider wearing gloves at night to protect your skin.

  • Avoid hot showers or baths hot water can strip your skin of its natural oils, so try using lukewarm water instead when bathing.

  • Always pat yourself dry after washing rubbing your skin dry can exacerbate irritation. Instead, pat your skin gently with a soft, clean towel.

  • Use fragrance-free skincare perfumes and scented skin products often contain harsh chemicals that can further aggravate the skin. Look for skincare thats specially formulated for sensitive skin.

  • Wear loose, soft fabrics choose loose-fitting, cotton clothes over synthetic fibres, which can cling to the skin and irritate it.

  • Stay hydrated drinking enough water is vitally important for maintaining overall skin health.

  • Avoid nicotine and alcohol these substances are known to dehydrate and age the skin.

  • Avoid harsh sunlight damaging UV rays may worsen dry, irritated skin. Always wear a high SPF daily.

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Symptoms Of Menopause And Vulvar Itching

There are many symptoms that can be associated with perimenopause and vulvar itching.

Many women mistake these symptoms for being caused by the onset of menopause.

But it should be noted that menopause itself does not cause these symptoms.

They are caused by extreme hormonal fluctuations.
And they can also be caused by specific diseases or conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoporosis.

As mentioned, it is quite common for women to experience the symptoms of menopause and vulvar itching at various points in their lives.

A few of these include pre-menopause, early menopause, and peri-menopause.

Some women may only experience the symptoms once they reach menopause.

In some women, though, it may occur several years later, especially if they have had children.

The most common symptom of menopause is vaginal dryness.

Women who have never experienced menopause report vaginal dryness.

Other symptoms include pelvic pain, which is relieved by perineal massage.

These reliefs are caused by decreased levels of estrogen.

Other factors causing vaginal dryness are: sexual intercourse, vaginal douching, and pregnancy.

Pelvic pain occurs due to the increase in fluid output from the vagina.

This can be caused by hormone imbalances or due to the actuality that the vagina is shrinking.

When the vagina shrinks, it leaves less room for the tissue inside it to re-grow and maintain its shape.

This makes for a tight feeling around the vaginal area.

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What Changes Will You Make

Now that you know what to expect, you also know theres a lot you can do to diminish these changes. If all this seems overwhelming, a board-certified dermatologist can create an effective treatment plan that delivers noticeable results.

ReferencesHall G and Phillips TJ. Estrogen and skin: The effects of estrogen, menopause, and hormone replacement therapy on the skin. J Am Acad Dermatol 2005 53:555-68.

Kunin A. Menopause and your skin: There is something you can do. In: Kunin A. DERMAdoctor: Skinstruction manual. Simon & Schuster, United States of America, 2005:339-45.

Neder L and SebastiĆ£o Freitas de M. Topical estradiol does not interfere with the expression of the metalloproteinase-1 enzyme in photo exposed skin cells. An. Bras. Dermatol. 2012 87:70-5.

White GM and Cox NH Disorders of hair. In: White GM and Cox NH. Diseases of the skin: A color atlas and text Mosby Elsevier, China, 2006:588-9.

Yaar M, Gilchrest BA. Aging of skin. In: Wolff K, Goldsmith LA, et al. Fitzpatricks Dermatology in General Medicine . McGraw Hill Medical, New York, 2008:967-8.

Zaulyanov-Scanlan L. Hormones and aging skin. In: Baumann, L. Cosmetic Dermatology. McGraw Hill Medical, China, 2009:29-31.

Self Help For Itchy Skin

What causes itching all over the body How to treat it? – Dr. Surekha Tiwari

If your levels of uric acid rises the itching can get worse so:

  • Drink more fluids to keep hydrated
  • Reduce your caffeine levels as this contributes to dehydration

Keep your skin moisturised by:

  • Showering in warm rather than hot water so your natural oils do not get stripped away
  • Using non irritating, gentle soaps or shower gels that are unscented or lightly scented
  • Increasing the application of moisturisers
  • Increasing your Omega 3 fatty acid intake by increasing your consumption of salmon, sardines, eggs, flaxseed, walnuts and soy.

Finally, avoid premature drying of your skin by reducing your intake of cigarettes and alcohol.

If the itching continues despite these measures you may find antihistamines will bring some relief – although these should not be taken on an ongoing basis.

Another option is to talk to your GP or menopause specialist about taking HRT to rebalance your hormones. If you would like to find out more about HRT generally please get in touch.

We make every effort to ensure that all health advice on this website is accurate and up to date. However it is for information purposes and should not replace a visit to your doctor or health care professional.

As the advice is general in nature rather than specific to individuals we cannot accept any liability for actions arising from its use nor can we be held responsible for the content of any pages referenced by an external link.

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Why Can Menopause Cause Itchy Skin

Skin changes of various kinds are common at menopause. Thats because the hormone oestrogen is important for overall skin health. It stimulates production of collagen, the substance that keeps skin supple and elastic, and also triggers the production of the oils that help make skin smooth. So when oestrogen falls around menopause, you may notice some skin symptoms. The drop in oils and collagen can cause skin to become thinner and drier, and for some women, this can result in itchiness and discomfort. Luckily, there are lots of things you can do to improve it.

Dry Itchy Skin: Still Scratching

The hormone changes of menopause arent 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 Dermatologys 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 youve got lots of choices to help you care for that beautiful skin youre in.

Pagination

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An Introduction To Itchy Skin And Menopause

An itch occurs when your skin is irritated. This can be triggered by a number of causes from insects landing on you to allergies and skin disorders. The skin irritant triggers a nerve reflex and the urge to scratch – this is designed to protect your skin by getting rid of the cause as quickly as possible.

When the itch becomes constant, it can lead to an irresistible urge to scratch a specific area on your skin even when there is no obvious cause. Excessive itching can lead to dry or flaky skin or even bleeding.

Itchy skin can be caused by the menopause, sometimes affecting large areas of the body.

No Discharge Just Itchy: What Causes Vaginal Itching

Common Reasons Why You Have Itchy Skin During Menopause

If youre experiencing no discharge, just itchy skin around the opening of your vagina, you could be dealing with one of several issues. A few of the most common causes of no-discharge vaginal itching are:

  • Contact dermatitis
  • Lichen sclerosus
  • Hormonal changes

Contact dermatitis is the medical term for itchiness that occurs when your skin comes in contact with something that causes an inflammatory reaction. Symptoms of contact dermatitis include tenderness, itchiness, rashes, swelling, and inflammation. Discharge is very unlikely with a case of contact dermatitis.

Eczema is a skin condition that can affect any part of the body. It causes patches of skin to become itchy, inflamed, dry, scaly, and/or swollen. Eczema is a chronic condition, but flare-ups tend to go away on their own, and may be linked to your menstrual cycle, stress, exposure to allergens, and/or hormonal changes.

Lichen sclerosus, like eczema,is another chronic skin condition. Unlike eczema, lichen sclerosus primarily impacts the genitals and anal area of the body. Symptoms include white patches around the vulva, flushed vulval skin, itchiness and pain during intercourse.

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Dermatosis Associated With Estrogen Deficiency

Estrogen is essential for normal female sexual development and for the healthy functioning of the reproductive system. It is naturally produced, majority in the ovaries in premenopausal woman and smaller quantities are produced by the adrenal glands and peripheral tissues such as fat, liver, and kidneys by converting androgens into estrogens. Estrogens are also formed in the placenta during pregnancy. In a normal adult human women, three different natural estrogens predominates: Estrone , estradiol , and estriol .

At menopause, the ovaries are atrophied, hence stop producing estrogen, and other sources continue to produce estrogen but in smaller quantities. Obese women may suffer less from menopause-related problems, related to estrogen depletion, as the androgens are converted to estrogen in fat cells.

Estrogen receptors are most abundant around genital areas, face, and lower limbs. So skin conditions involving these areas are more commonly affected in peri- and postmenopausal women.

How To Improve Your Sleep If You Go Through The Night Sweats Menopause Stage

In menopause, the level of the female sex hormone estrogen decreases, which is accompanied by certain changes in the state of a womans health.

The process of ovarian failure can last for 5-6 years or longer.

About 7585% of women experience discomfort during this time due to excessive sweating and sudden hot flashes, which can disrupt the rhythm of normal life.

Try these simple tips as remedies for night sweats:

  • Wear loose-fitting pajamas or a nightgown made from natural fabrics. They will not constrain your movements and will allow your body to breathe.
  • Wipe your face and neck with a washcloth soaked in cold water to bring relief and help you fall asleep.
  • Go to bed and get up at the same time every night. It is also useful to monitor how much you sleep.
  • Regular sports activities will also contribute to a good nights rest. However, avoid exercising late at night.

Note that the habit of taking a nap during the day and drinking too many caffeinated drinks can prevent you from falling asleep at night.

If you eliminate all obstacles to a good rest, you will be exhilarated and bursting with energy all day long!

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Does Your Skin Change During Menopause

As you approach menopause, your levels of circulating oestrogen start to decline, but they do not do so consistently. As well as protecting heart health, fortifying your skeleton, and supporting sleep hygiene, oestrogen is also linked to increased collagen production, wound healing, skin thickness, skin hydration, and improved barrier function .Collagen is the main structural protein found in skin and helps to maintain elasticity and firmness . However, your collagen production starts to decline from the age of 25, and the decrease in collagen can lead to wrinkles and sagging.The decline in oestrogen during perimenopause can compound the effects of ageing. As oestrogen drops, so too does collagen and the natural oils in your skin, which can compromise your skin health.To determine the impact of oestrogen levels on the skin, researchers often compare the skin of premenopausal women to postmenopausal women . One study revealed that around a third of perimenopausal and postmenopausal women reported increased skin sensitivity .

Bladder Vaginal & Vulval Problems

The Vagina Dialogues: Vulvovaginal Health after Menopause

Low oestrogen causes changes to the vulval, vaginal and bladder tissues. This can result in the following symptoms:

  • genital: dryness, burning and irritation
  • sexual: lack of lubrication, discomfort or pain, impaired function, or loss of elasticity
  • urinary: urgency, pain and recurrent urinary tract infections.

A woman may present with some or all of the signs and symptoms.

Lower oestrogen levels can also influence the perception of touch, making you extra sensitive to touch, or even numb to touch at times.

For more information on how to manage menopausal symptoms go to Management options.

This web page is designed to be informative and educational. It is not intended to provide specific medical advice or replace advice from your health practitioner. The information above is based on current medical knowledge, evidence and practice as at December 2017.

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What Causes Vaginal Itching During Menopause

Estrogen is the primary reproductive hormone in the female body. Throughout the reproductive years, estrogen levels fluctuate in a predictable pattern to trigger ovulation and menstruation.

But during perimenopause, the bodys reproductive function begins to shut down. Estrogen levels fluctuate and eventually decline as perimenopause continues.

With declining estrogen levels, you also have thinner, drier skin and dry skin often itches!

Unfortunately, your body relies on estrogen for more than just regulating the monthly menses. Estrogen also triggers the production of collagen and natural skin oils to keep your skin hydrated and glowing.

With declining estrogen levels, you also have thinner, drier skin and dry skin often itches!

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