Itchy Menopause Skin: 7 Remedies To Stop Scratching
Whether its a tag in the back of your shirt, a merino wool sweater, or even your favorite body wash that gets you scratching, you may be noticing that you feel itchy more often lately. And, yup, you can chalk it up to menopause. Itchy skin is yet another symptom, and the itchiness is usually due to dry skin.
How Menopause Affects The Skin
Well take a look now at 8 of the main skin problems many women encounter around the time of menopause.
How To Fix Menopause
Menopause-Related Hair Changes
Although menopause is a natural stage of aging for women, dry hair doesnt have to be. There are ways to prevent and even repair your dry hair during menopause and Ive laid out the best tips below. Take a look!
The best way to fix menopause-related dry hair is to eat foods rich in vitamins and nutrients such as Omega-3 fatty acids and amino acids, magnesium, zinc, biotin, iron, protein, and folic acid will help to restore natural oils in your hair and pick up some of the slack from your decrease in hormones that promote good hair health.
1. Eat Good, Healthy Food
Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet to help restore moisture to your hair from the inside out is the best way to naturally treat menopause-related dry hair.
These are the foods you should be incorporating into your diet to fix menopause-related dry hair:
|Whole grains, nutritional yeast, tempeh , eggs, salmon, poultry, pork, red meat, and liver|
Table Showing Food You Should Eat To Fix Menopause-Related Dry Hair.
2. Nurture Your Hair
Stop using excessive heat on your hair. Be kind to your hair and ditch the heat styling stools such as curling irons and hair straighteners. The heat from these tools physically strips your hair of its moisture. So there is no point in repairing moisture from the inside if youre only going to strip it away again from the outside.
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What Treatment Is Available For Menopausal Symptoms
Hormone replacement therapy has been shown to prevent many of the signs and symptoms experienced in peri- and post-menopause, including urogenital and general skin and hair problems. Systemic HRT may consist of oestrogen tablets, patches, vaginal rings, implants, or a combination of oestrogen and progestogen as patch or tablet.
HRT is no longer recommended for healthy asymptomatic women.
Oestrogen cream is particularly useful for atrophic vulvovaginitis, and systemic absorption and side effects are minimal.
Other treatments for the genitourinary syndrome of menopause may include:
- Avoidance of soaps and harsh rubbing of the affected area to prevent further irritation of the skin
- Topical or oral antibiotics, if an infection is present
- Emollients and bland lubricants to keep the area moist
- Tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitryptiline, for neuropathic pain.
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.
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Why Do Some Women Urinate During Intercourse Im 60 Years Old
Feeling extra pressure on the belly can cause peeing during sex. Changing your position might solve this. You can also try emptying your bladder before and after sex.
Just because something is common doesnt mean its normal, says urogynecologist Kristin Rooney, MD. This is a medical condition.Urinary incontinence is very treatable. Treatments include behavioral changes, physical therapy and medications. Call 800.922.0000 to see a urogynecologist.
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How Does Hormone Imbalance Cause Itchy Skin
Itchy skin is a common sign of menopause and is caused by declining levels of oestrogen in the body. This leads to a decrease in collagen, which is a protein that makes your skin strong.
The lack of collagen in your body makes your skin thinner, drier and more likely to itch. Because the skin is drier and less elastic, you might become more sensitive to products that come into close contact with your skin, such as soaps and detergents. This can then cause your skin to become irritated and itchy.
Those going through the menopause might experience itching anywhere on their body, including the face, scalp and genitals.
Its especially common for the vagina to feel itchy and dry during menopause, as the walls of the vagina become thinner due to the declining oestrogen levels. This is called vaginitis and symptoms include:
- a sore or itchy vagina
- vaginal dryness
- parasitic conditions
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Dry Skin Hair And Eyes
Have your eyes and skin been feeling dry and itchy? ‘During the menopause, collagen production, which is what keeps skin supple, hair soft and eyes moist, starts to decline,’ says Kathy Abernathy, a specialist menopause nurse and Chair Elect of the British Menopause Society. ‘It’s worth getting a richer moisturiser or conditioner and getting over-the-counter eye drops if you’re affected. You could also take omega-7 supplements as they can help ease eye dryness.’
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 Sebastião 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.
Outlook For Itchy Skin In Menopause
Having itchy skin in menopause isnt life-threatening, but it can be very irritating and make you self-conscious if your skin becomes rough or a rash forms. However, there are many ways to relieve itchy skin, either from treatments you can buy over the counter or prescribed from your doctor.
Itchy skin isnt usually a sign of anything serious and, depending on the cause, should clear up within a few weeks with treatment.
Whats The Difference Between Itchy And Prickly Skin
Medically known as pruritus, itchy skin is a fairly common complaint amongst menopausal women. Although itching can occur throughout the body, its more likely to affect the face , neck, chest, limbs, back, and elbows .You may also experience genital itching, also known as vulvar pruritus. If you already experience vaginal dryness another common symptom of menopause youre more likely to experience vaginal itching.Besides itching, you may also experience paraesthesia during menopause: a skin and nerve condition often described as feeling prickly, and characterised by tingling, numbness, or pins and needles .Some women may even suffer from a rare type of paraesthesia during menopause called formication, which can feel like insects crawling under the skin.
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Itchy Menopause Skin: Whats Happening
Your skin is made up of 64 percent water. One of estrogens many responsibilities is to trigger the bodys production of collagen and body oils, which keeps your skin moist. The hormone also makes it easier for your body to retain its natural moisture. As estrogen declines in perimenopause and menopause, so does your bodys moisture, resulting in dry, itchy skin, irritation, small bumps, and occasionally even a rash.
Unlike other menopause symptoms that ease up after menopause, your body never regains its ability to create and retain moisture the way it did in your youth. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to relieve the itch and keep your skin dewy.
Breast Enlargement / Swelling
The second thing that can happen for some women, is that it goes the other way and their breasts start to get bigger and bigger. For some women, this is absolutely great. You know, they think, âAt last, Iâm getting the breasts that Iâve always wanted.â For other women, obviously, they can end up getting too big.
It will completely change your shape. You can end up getting a lot of discomfort. We tend to get a lot of shoulder and neck pain anyway, especially those of us that are working in offices or working at desks. And, if your breast tissue enlarges too much, that can put extra stress onto the back muscles too, and it can cause a huge amount of distress.
Again, this is going to affect the way we see ourselves and also how we feel about ourselves as well.
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Common Menopause Skin And Hair Changes
These are the most common changes people can expect in their skin and hair post-menopause.
Sagging and loss of plumpness
Collagen is a protein that holds the bodys tissues together. And when estrogen drops, your skins collagen production decreases, too. Loss of collagen means the skin loses its youthful volume and tightness.
To combat this problem, many people take collagen supplements or eat high-collagen foods like bone broth. But the jury is still out on this strategy. We dont have enough controlled studies to prove that consuming collagen will help post-menopausal skin, Dr. Williams says.
Dont give up, though. You can help fight collagen loss at home with a simple facial massage. Dr. Williams recommends taking your favorite moisturizer or facial oil and giving yourself a facial rubdown each night. The massaging motion stimulates your skins collagen production, she says.
Dryness, flakiness and itching
Those pesky dark marks, sometimes called age spots, often appear after menopause and theyre hard to treat at home.
Unwanted facial hair
As hormones shift, you may notice hair on the upper lip or chin. If you want it gone, the tried-and-true methods of tweezing, waxing, hair removal creams and threading will get rid of it until it grows back.
Post-menopause acne breakouts
Hair loss and thinning
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.
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Combat Wrinkles With Retinoids But Still Stay Hydrated
Retinoids are another area that deserves your attention. These vitamin A derivatives, which you can get through a prescription from your dermatologist or over-the-counter , promote cellular turnover and increase skin thickness, says Fine. We know that during menopause the actual thickness of skin is decreasing. Retinoids are the most targeted medication we have, she says. The cruel reality is that retinoids are inherently drying, which only exacerbates problems with parchedness. You can combat this by using a single pea-sized amount on skin one or two times per week and increasing frequency as skin begins to build tolerance.
Also consider a retinol, a weaker form of retinoids, thats available over-the-counter. Products like Sente Intensive Bio Complete Cream have been specifically formulated with sensitive skin in mind. If you find that retinoids and retinols are not compatible with your skin, look for products that contain peptides, which are proteins that promote collagen production, suggests Fine.
Change Your Shower Habits
Some people find having a cool or lukewarm shower or bath helpful. This will cool down your skin and help prevent dry skin, which could lead to an itch. Try to avoid using bubble baths, soaps and detergents, as these could cause you to itch and dry out your skin. Those with eczema are often advised to bathe or shower less frequently, as soap can dry out skin. Instead, try to use unperfumed varieties or avoid soap altogether and use water alone, or an emollient instead of soap. You might also find adding sodium bicarbonate or oatmeal to your bath water helps, and to pat your skin dry with a towel rather than rubbing.
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Your Health Questions Answered
- Answered by: Healthily’s medical teamAnswered: 01/10/2021
There could be many reasons for why your skin becomes itchy at night-time. It could be because youve had a hot bath or shower before bedtime, or used a soap or bubble bath that has irritated your skin. You might also have eaten or drunk something that has caused vasodilation , such as alcohol, spicy food or a hot drink.
Occasionally, itchy skin may be a sign of an underlying condition like eczema, which may come and go over time in flare-ups.
It could also be that something else is preventing you from sleeping, and youre noticing the itching because youre being kept awake. Menopause can cause trouble sleeping as well as problems with mood and anxiety, and hot flushes that keep you up at night too.
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.
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Why Is Menopause Giving Me Itchy Skin
As you go through the menopause, levels of the hormone oestrogen begin to drop.
Oestrogen has a number of functions, including regulating the moisture levels of your tissues and stimulating the production of collagen. Collagen is a fibre that improves the strength and elasticity of skin low levels of collagen can lead to the formation of wrinkles.
As the level of oestrogen in your body falls, so does the amount of collagen and skin-moistening oils produced. This causes your skin to become dry and irritated. You may first notice this around the T-zone of your face although it can spread over your whole body.
Raised stress levels can exacerbate itching as stress triggers the release of histamine, which can cause flushing, itching and sometimes skin rashes. As many mid-life women are dealing with stressful circumstances, working to support and calm the nervous system is important.
If levels of uric acid rise, due to dehydration and/or excess intake of caffeinated drinks, discomfort and itching can worsen. This factor may also contribute to soreness in the joints, another one of the common menopause symptoms.