Changes Your Skin Goes Through with Menopause
Do you feel like your skin is changing with age? While many think that wrinkles and dry skin are unavoidable with growing older, it’s possible that the hormone changes during menopause can be to blame.
As you reach menopause, dramatic hormonal changes occur in your body that can affect your physical appearance, including the condition of our skin. Your body produces less estrogen, which causes you to start experiencing symptoms such as hot flashes and sleep disturbances. This hormonal shift can also have an effect on our skin’s health too – it can become drier, itchier and more sensitive than before.
Menopause brings about a myriad of changes and symptoms that impact physical and mental health. However, there are treatments available for those who experience unwanted or difficult to manage effects. In this article, we will look at what happens to your skin when experiencing menopausal symptoms and changes, as well as ways you can ease the transition for healthier looking skin during this time.
Dry or Flaky Skin
Because estrogen is responsible for maintaining collagen production, when these hormone levels drop during menopause it leads to decreased collagen and thinning of the skin. As a result, you may experience drier skin than before and find it more difficult to keep hydrated with moisturizers or oils.
What to Do
- Wash with soaps that are not fragranced
- Apply moisturizer after bathing
- See a skin specialist if the problem persists
Hyperpigmentation (age spots) can become more prominent during menopause. This is due to fluctuations in hormones such as progesterone which leads to an increased production of melanin. It will leave dark patches on the body parts that are exposed most often to sunlight such as the face, hands and neck.
What to Do
- Apply a sunscreen with SPF 15 before going outside
- Wear hats or use an umbrella when you’re out doors
- Ask a skin specialist to prescribe you the right treatments
- Make an appointment for skin cancer screening
Acne is common during menopause due to the changing hormone levels. During this time, women produce less estrogen and the production of androgens (male hormones) may increase, which can cause acne flare-ups.
For some women, their menstrual cycle also changes or stops altogether, resulting in an imbalance between estrogen and progesterone that could contribute to increased oil production and clogged pores. Stress levels can also affect hormonal imbalances which further aggravate existing symptoms including acne.
What to Do
- Wash your face with products containing salicylic acid
- Avoid products that dry out your skin
- Use clean towels to dry your face after washing
- Use disinfecting face toners that aren’t alcohol based
- Book an appointment with a skin specialist to prescribe the right treatments and medication
Excessive Facial Hair
Women may experience increased facial hair growth when they reach menopause due to hormonal changes. During menopause, the ovaries produce less estrogens but excessive testosterone. As a result, it can cause an increase in facial hair.
Women may also develop a condition called hirsutism which is when coarse and dark hair grows on areas where it normally doesn’t grow, such as on the face or chest. It is important for women to consult with their doctor if they notice increased facial hair growth.
What to Do
- Have a specialist perform laser hair removal on your face
- Try hormone therapy
- Seek a certified dermatologist for the right treatments and medication
Your Skin Bruises Easily
As mentioned before, during menopause the production of estrogen decreases significantly and this causes skin to lose its elasticity. The lack of collagen also makes it more fragile and prone to bruising.
Furthermore, as women age, their connective tissue also weakens which can make bruising worse. Due to hormone changes the blood can become too thin which can also cause easy bruising.
What to Do
- Apply broad spectrum sunscreen with a higher SPF 30
- You may need to take hormone support supplements
- A skin specialist may be able to assist with the right treatments
Wrinkles or Sagging Skin
During menopause, skin wrinkles due to a decrease in estrogen production. This drop in estrogen leads to a decrease in collagen, which helps maintain the skin’s elasticity and firmness. As collagen levels fall, the skin’s structure becomes weaker, more fragile and prone to wrinkling.
Additionally, the existing fat stored under the skin also begins to decrease, leading to thinning of the skin. The combination of decreased collagen levels and thinner skin leads to wrinkles appearing on the surface of the face and body.
What to Do
- Use a sunscreen before going outside
- Use an anti-wrinkle cream prescribed by a professional
- Eat healthier foods that contain Hyaluronic acid
- Consider using skin care that contains retinol
Wrinkle-free treatments, also known as wrinkle relaxing injections, are a type of non-surgical procedure used to reduce fine lines and wrinkles on the face.
The treatment is made up of a formula based on the bacteria Clostridium Botulinum and is considered a neurotoxin, which acts as a nerve block to temporarily relax the muscles in the injected area.
The wrinkle-free treatment is commonly used to treat fine lines around the eyes, stress lines on the forehead, and other areas such as the hands and neck. The procedure is done by injecting the mixture of Botulinum and saline into the affected areas, and the effects can last from three to 12 months.
The treatment is considered safe, but there may be side effects such as swelling, redness, and bruising. The results will result in smoother skin and reduced wrinkles, but it is important to avoid rubbing or scratching the treated area for at least a day.
Dermal fillers are non-surgical injections that use hyaluronic acid to hydrate and replenish the skin. As people age, the body’s production of elastin and collagen, which maintain skin elasticity, decreases causing skin to sag and wrinkle. Dermal fillers can help restore volume and smooth out fine lines, and they can be used on the face as well as other parts of the body. The procedure is quick and involves the insertion of a gel solution into the affected area using a needle. The effects are not permanent, lasting between 6 to 12 months, and a person must be 21 or older and have a complaint of sagging skin to be eligible for treatment. Preparation before the procedure includes avoiding certain medications and strenuous activity and eating a healthy diet. After the treatment, there may be slight discomfort and redness, and a follow-up session is usually done 4 weeks later.
ENDOLIFT® is a non-surgical facelift alternative that helps reduce the signs of aging and wrinkles. It is performed by Dr. Jaco van der Merwe, a dental surgeon who is professionally trained to perform the procedure. The procedure promotes skin tightening by stimulating the production of collagen and retraction of skin laxity. It is minimally invasive, with little to no downtime, and patients report little to no pain during the procedure. Only one session is usually needed to see results, which are expected to last 2-3 years. The procedure takes 30-90 minutes, and areas that can be treated include the lower eyelid, mid and lower face, mandibular border, under the chin, neck, and more. Early results are seen in 4 weeks, significant results in 4 months, and full results after 9-12 months.
Rashes and Sensitive Skin
During menopause, hormonal changes in the body can cause a wide range of skin conditions including menopausal rash, which can manifest as areas of redness or itching. This is due to an increase in progesterone and decreased levels of estrogen in the body, which is associated with this type of skin irritation.
What to Do
- Use fragrance free skin products
- Don’t use alcohol based toners
- Eat foods that are high in probiotics
- Consult a specialist to prescribe the right medication and methods to treat your symptoms
Why Does Skin Change During Menopause?
There are many reasons why your skin changes during menopause such as:
- Decline in Estrogen Levels: Estrogen is the primary female sex hormone and helps keep the skin moisturized and elastic. During menopause, estrogen levels decline due to a decrease in the production from the ovaries. This leads to drier, more fragile skin with more wrinkles.
- Decreased Production of Collagen and Elastin: Collagen is an essential component of healthy skin because it gives it structure and strength. Elastin helps make skin flexible so it doesn’t crack when stretched or pulled. As we get older, especially after menopause, our collagen production decreases faster than before due to estrogen deficiency – leading to sagging skin or wrinkles developing at a faster rate than usual.
- Changes in Melanin Production: Due to hormonal fluctuations associated with menopause, melanin production – the pigment responsible for giving us our natural colour — may become unbalanced while our bodies adjust to different hormone levels. This can result in patches or spots on the face.
- Altered pH Levels on Skin Surface: The acidity (pH level) on your skin’s surface often fluctuates due to changes during menopause. These fluctuations cause the immune system around your face and neck area to respond differently than it did before. As a result, you may experience inflammation which ultimately causes breakouts and leads to dullness or flare up.
Shine Dental Clinic provides a safe, natural and effective way to reduce the effects of skin problems caused by menopause. Using our holistic approach, Shine Dental Clinic helps empower women to feel confident in their skin during this life transition. Whether you want to manage your skin in general or will be attending a wedding make sure you feel comfortable in your skin.
It would be good to have a consultation with our resident qualified expert to assess how to best manage the skin changes you’re experiencing during menopause. Contact us today to find out what treatments are available or to book a consultation.