Menopausal Skin

The Effects Of Low Estrogen On Menopausal Skin

What is menopause?

Menopause is the ceasing of menstruation. When your periods stop due to lower levels of hormones. This usually affects women between 45 and 55. The average age is 51 years old, but it can happen earlier. Menopause is a natural biological process that marks the end of a woman’s menstrual cycles and fertility.

Common physical and mental symptoms of menopause and perimenopause include:

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Night sweats

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Dizzy spells

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Brain fog

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Difficulty sleeping

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Heart palpitations

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Allergies

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Headaches or Migraines

Menopause Symptoms
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Irritability

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Mood swings

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Anxiety

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Fatigue

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Weight gain

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Digestive issues

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Hot flushes

Menopause Symptoms

Other symptoms may include muscle aches and joint pains, dry and itchy skin, brittle nails, osteoporosis, lower libido, vaginal dryness, recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs), sensitive teeth, painful gums, taste changes, bloating, irregular periods, breast soreness and tingling

What causes menopause?

Menopause – a season of hormonal shifts Some women going through menopause may feel out of balance because their levels of estrogen, progesterone and testosterone are dropping as they enter and move through this stage of life. Menopause happens as the ovaries make less oestrogen and progesterone, causing irregular periods and eventually stopping menstruation altogether. This hormone decrease is a natural part of ageing and means the end of reproductive years.

Estrogen Hormone Levels

Estrogen Hormone Levels

Menopause Stages

The three main stages of menopause include Perimenopause, Menopause and Post menopause.

During this time, the ovaries start to shrink, leading to less production of the hormones that control the menstrual cycle: oestrogen and progesterone. Premenopause is the time before menopause symptoms occur. Perimenopause is when you experience symptoms but still have periods. Menopause is when you don’t have a period for 12 consecutive months and Postmenopause is the time after you’ve not had a period for 12 months

menopause and your skin

Menopause & Skin

During menopause, changes in hormone levels, particularly oestrogen, can impact the skin because it has a lot of oestrogen receptors. This can affect both the outer layer (epidermis) and the deeper layer (dermis) of the skin. While progesterone receptors are also present, they have less influence on the menopausal skin during this time. The effects of low estrogen on the skin include Dry skin, Thinning of the skin, Loss of elasticity, breakouts,  lines and wrinkles,  more easily irritated skin, slower to heal/bruising, itchy skin (linked to flushing) and irregular pigmentation or uneven skin tone.

Dry Skin Menopause

Dry/Itchy Skin

  • Estrogen retains and restores moisture in the skin
  • Estrogen helps to produce ceramides, which are important for retaining your skin’s moisture and preventing the entry of germs into your body. Your skin becomes dehydrated and may develop problems like dryness and irritation
  • Estrogen keeps nerve endings healthy
Fine Lines Menopause

Lines & Wrinkles

  • 30% loss of skin collagen within the first 5 years of the menopause
  • 1% loss of skin’s collagen in each following year
  • 1% decline in skin thickness in each post-menopausal year
Sagging Skin Menopause

Sagging of the Skin

Research has shown that during menopause, women experience a reduction in bone density and strength, particularly in the jawline and chin, leading to facial changes and sagging.

Irregular Pigment_Uneven Skin Tone Skin Menopause

Irregular Pigment/Uneven Skin Tone

Due to the hormonal changes during menopause, the production of melanin, the pigment that gives our skin its natural colour, may become uneven as our bodies adapt to different hormone levels. This can result in patches or dark spots on the face and body.

Breakouts Skin Menopause

Breakouts

Estrogen levels are dropping at a different speed than progesterone and testosterone, which can cause breakouts. It is estimated that a quarter of women in their 40’s and 15% of women aged 50+ suffer from problematic skin.

Slower to Heal, Fragile/Bruising Skin

As estrogen and collagen drop the skin becomes weaker and thinner and loses elasticity. The connective tissue also weakens which can make bruising worse. Hormone changes can make the blood become too thin, leading to bruises easily.

More Easily Irritated Skin

Due to changes during menopause, your PH levels on your skin’s face and neck can fluctuate which causes the immune system in this area to respond differently than it did before. This may lead to inflammation which causes breakouts and also leads to dullness or flare up.

Compromised Skin Barrier

Conditions such as eczema/rosacea and psoriasis may flare due to hormonal changes during the perimenopause/menopause.

Menopause Lifestyle Changes

Lifestyle changes to help menopause and perimenopause include eating well, exercising and looking after your mental wellbeing can help during menopause and perimenopause and in the future. Its also a good idea to speak to a healthcare professional
A GP, nurse or pharmacist who can give advice and help with your menopause symptoms.

There are conventional treatments including HRT tablets, patches, gel, spray, vaginal rings, pessaries and creams. There are also menopause specialists who have experience in supporting anyone going through perimenopause or menopause.

menopausal lifestyle changes

LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO HELP MENOPAUSE AND PERIMENOPAUSE SYMPTOMS

DO
  • Get plenty of rest, including sleep
  • Eat a healthy diet
  • Have calcium-rich food to keep bones healthy
  • Exercise regularly, where your feet and legs support your weight like walking, running or dancing
  • Take time to relax, eg yoga, tai chi or meditation
  • Talk to other people going through the same thing, like family, or friends.
  • Talk to a doctor about your symptoms
DONT
  • Smoke
  • Do not drink more than the recommended alcohol limit

If you need advice and support with your menopausal skin please get in touch with Lucie for a consultation