HealthMenopause

How Menopause Effects Skin And Body

In a survey of 87 women attending a specialist menopause clinic, more than 64% reported prior skin problems. Despite the high frequency of dermatologic signs and symptoms associated with menopause, few studies have been conducted on the subject.

What Is Menopause?

On average, women in developed countries spend one-third of their lives in menopause; thus, the physiology of menopause has become a matter of public health.

Menopause is the final menstrual period, confirmed after 12 straight months without a period or when both of a woman’s ovaries are removed or permanently damaged.

When menopause occurs naturally (not as a result of surgery or other medical intervention), it’s called “natural menopause.”

Most women experience natural menopause between ages 40 and 58; the average age in the developed world is 51.

Stages Of Menopause

Perimenopause is the transitional time immediately before natural menopause when the changes of menopause begin, and includes the 12 months after (also called “the menopause transition”).Perimenopause can last 6 years or more.

Climacterium is the period of transition between the last years of the reproductive stage and postreproductive life, which begins with the gradual disappearance of ovarian function.

Menopause is the cessation of menstrual periods due to the loss of ovarian function and is a normal physiologic process in women when it occurs after the fifth decade of life.

Post menopause is all the years beyond menopause.

estrogen hormone level

 

The Importance of Hormones In Menopause

Ovarian failure and the resulting hormonal changes during menopause affect almost all aspects of women’s health and may present with signs and symptoms in nearly every body system.

Symptoms are experienced differently according to ethnic, educational, and socio-cultural variability.

Asian American women report a low frequency of physical, psychological, and psychosomatic symptoms compared with black women.

Brazilian women have a higher prevalence of vasomotor symptoms compared to women in other developed Western countries.

how menopause effects skin and body

How Menopause Effects Skin And Body

In a survey of 87 women attending a specialist menopause clinic, more than 64% reported prior skin problems. Despite the high frequency of dermatology signs and symptoms associated with menopause, few studies have been conducted on the subject.

Dry Skin

Estrogens are essential for skin hydration because they increase the production of glycosaminoglycans, promote increased production of sebum, increase water retention, improve barrier function of the stratum corneum, and optimize the surface area of corn-eocytes.

As a result, concerns about dry skin are more frequent among menopausal women who are not taking hormone replacement therapy (HRT)

Skin also becomes thinner in menopause, since there’s a relationship between collagen production, skin thickness, and lack of estrogen.

The natural slowdown of cell turnover and decrease in humectants in the skin exacerbates the dryness, too.

Reduced Hair

Regarding skin annexes, the decrease in estrogen causes a reduction in axillary and pubic hair.

The reduction in elastic fibers results in a loss of firmness and elasticity. Moreover, with a relative predominance of androgenic hormones, vellus hair may be replaced by thicker hair.

If you go on estrogen therapy (which is typically not considered until you’ve lost your period for 6 months), you won’t experience a lot of skin-related shifts.

Acne And Break Outs

For acne,  spironolactone can be helpful, especially during perimenopause. It’s a fabulous androgen blocker — in this case, acne often occurs because estrogen levels are starting to decrease while androgens stay constant.

Taking high amounts of flaxseed oil, which is a great anti-inflammatory (as acne is an inflammatory condition).

As far as other acne treatment products are concerned, you must be as gentle as you can.

Take care to use non-drying products, because most acne products can be drying. Salicylic acid cleansers are good.

Retinoids. Whether you use retinol, retinaldehyde, or tretinoin, once any form of vitamin A gets into the skin, it interacts with an enzyme that creates transretinoic acid, which then binds with about 52-57 different types of DNA, repairing skin and stimulating collagen production.

It’s safe, and as long as the treatment you choose doesn’t dry you out, it’s fine to use it for an extended period of time.

Serum boasts a whopping 7% microencapsulated retinol along with anti-inflammatories for great results without irritation.
Prefer Booster serum, which is rich in peptides as well as hyaluronic acid and glycerin

Peptides. These will also stimulate collagen production and boost skin’s elasticity, which is important as skin becomes thinner and starts to sag.

Something with hyaluronic acid or glycerin will be particularly helpful at easing the dryness that many women experience with menopause.

Click Here To Know 26 Myths About Acne And Its Treatment

Flushing

Flushing

It can occur due to rosacea or skin reactivity. Some of it is related to vasodilation. There are a lot of good anti-redness products on the market that work well.

Increased sensitivity happens as we age and the natural lipids in our skin diminish.

Studies show that, after the age of 50, the pH level of our skin gets higher. There’s a certain level (5.4) where the pH of our skin allows for optimal operation of our microflora and defensive cells.

As the pH level climbs, those cells are less able to help defend the skin and we’re more prone to rashes, sensitivity, and dermatitis. It becomes important to repair the skin’s moisture barrier with good, effective emollients.

Facial Hair And Pigmentation

Scraggly facial hair can start to appear due to the imbalance of estrogen and testosterone. Electrolysis is the best treatment for this.
Hyperpigmentation can sometimes be more of an issue because the skin is thinner, and you’ve had more chronic sun exposure at this point.

You might have had lots of tans or burns in the past, so you have a lot of melanin in your skin and get darker more easily. Retinoids can help with this, too.

Overall, Products with lactic acid are great, and antioxidant serums for daytime, under moisturizer and sunblock. That’s a great companion regimen to a nighttime routine of retinol or peptides under a good moisturizer.

Common Menopausal Symptoms:

Hot flashes 

Hot flashes are moments in menopause when the body suddenly experiences a surge in heat, plus sweating and increased heartbeat.

When the hot flash passes, which is usually between one to five minutes, the body will feel a sudden chill

However, there are some things you can do at home to regulate your body temperature during menopause. Wear layers that can be removed during a hot flash.

At night, when hot flashes can disrupt sleep (known as “night sweats”), try sleeping under layers of covers that can be removed, wear light sleepwear, use a cooling pillow, and keep a ceiling or electric fan on to circulate cool air.

Some people find it helpful to keep an ice pack at their feet and under their pillow.

hot flashes 

Vaginal dryness

Lower estrogen levels from menopause can cause the vagina to atrophy, reducing its lubrication and elasticity.

As a result, sexual intercourse can become extremely painful, causing tearing and bleeding.

Women experiencing vaginal dryness also have an increased risk of contracting a vaginal infection.
Women with vaginal dryness can try various water-based lubricants to decrease friction, or use vaginal moisturizers.

Moisturizers tend to last longer than lubricants and may help those with mild dryness.

Those experiencing more dryness or who don’t want to deal with the day-to-day of moisturizers and lubricants can try the MonaLisa Touch laser therapy, a novel new procedure involving three separate treatments, each one lasting only five minutes.

Patients experiencing menopause who have turned to MonaLisa Touch have reported life-changing results after suffering from vaginal dryness.

Mood swings

Many women experience changes in mood and irritability when they transition into menopause. These mood changes are caused by decreasing hormone levels and maybe worse in women who experience anxiety about this process.

Doctors recommend basic stress-relieving exercises to calm the mind and body such as meditation, massage, deep breathing, and yoga.

Spend more time outside in the daylight to boost your mood and relax! Also, indulging in your favorite activity or pampering yourself can make you feel better as you go through menopause.

If your mood continues to be negative and you experience depression, speak to your healthcare provider about seeing a therapist or receiving antidepressants.(source)

Click here to know How To Improve Mental Health and Mood

Foggy’ thinking

During perimenopause, some women feel they’re thinking less clearly, and it’s harder for them to come up with names and numbers. “Women will say, ‘I used to be able to multitask at work – and now I can walk out of a meeting and not even remember what I’m supposed to do or what we talked about,'” .Estrogen helps with that; keeping you sharp.

Depression and anxiety

Mild depression or anxiety symptoms aren’t uncommon with menopause, and hormone therapy can be “really helpful.”

Research suggests that falling estrogen levels may affect brain receptors for serotonin, a chemical that helps regulate mood.

With more severe depression symptoms, “crying all the time, lack of energy, not being able to function, a real hopelessness” – antidepressants are needed.

There’s some research that, in women who are having depression around the time of menopause, the combination of hormones and antidepressants together work better than either one alone,

Click Here To Know 13 Ways to Reduce Anxiety-Research Proven

bone loss

Bone loss

With estrogen loss, women can have low bone mass and an increased risk of osteoporosis.

The most rapid bone loss is the first five to seven years post-menopause. Do  DEXA scans to gauge bone strength early, when women are about 50, insurance permitting.

At any age, you can take preventive steps by getting enough calcium – preferably from diet, not supplements. vitamin D supplements to help absorb calcium and build bone.

Exercise – weight-bearing, resistance, yoga, aerobics and cardio – helps preserve bones and joints, with a mood-boosting bonus.(source)

Weight Gain

Although menopause may not be directly associated with weight gain, it may be related to changes in body composition and fat distribution.

Several studies have shown that perimenopause, independent of age, is associated with increased fat in the abdomen as well as decreased lean body mass

This suggests that menopause plays a role in many midlife women’s transition from a pear-shaped body (wide hips and thighs, with more weight below the waist) to an apple-shaped body (wide waist and belly, with more weight above the waist) However, further study is needed on the exact role of menopause in body composition.

Any excess weight raises the risk of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease (which is particularly linked with excess fat in the abdomen), type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and some types of cancer (including breast and colon).

HRT can only partly help to stop this so women can still gain weight on HRT.

Click Here To Know How to Reduce Weight In A Healthy Way?

Breast soreness

It can happen at this transitional time when your periods slow and finally stop.

The change in hormone production is what causes it. Breasts can also appear less full due to the change in oestrogen levels.

Headaches

These are during menopause can be more common amongst women who suffered with them during their periods.

They are common, but should they persist, a doctor visit is recommended.

Click Here To Know about What is the Difference Between Sinus Headache and Migraine Headache?

Joint pain

Joint pain

A recent study has shed new light on a little-known type of arthritis known as ‘menopausal arthritis’ which effects women at the onset of the menopause and causes moderate to severe pain and swelling in mainly the fingers and wrists.

Burning tongue 

Oestrogen plays an important role in the formation of saliva, therefore, once oestrogen levels decrease this can cause burning mouth syndrome.

This condition is where burning pain occurs in widespread areas across your while mouth including your tongue, lips, roof of mouth and cheeks.

Electric shocks

It is a certain fact that the female hormones behave erratically in perimenopause and menopause and in some women, this can lead to increased levels of electric shocks.

Although an electrical shock sensation can happen at any time, it is known to often occur immediately before a hot flush.

Digestion Problems

Oestrogen helps keep the stress hormone cortisol in check. But when oestrogen runs low, cortisol increases, which in turn has an impact on our digestive system.

Common digestive problems include bloating, indigestion, acid reflux, abdominal cramps, constipation, diarrhoea, weight gain, flatulence and nausea.

Click Here To Know How To Treat Acid Re-flux!

Gum problems and odd Taste

Gum problems and odd Taste

Experiencing a metallic taste in the mouth affects between 10 to 40 per cent of menopausal women, according to research.

Muscle Tension

This is the feeling that muscles are always tight or strained, sometimes to the point of chronic pain and is closely related to stress and anxiety.

Diet For Menopause

The healthiest diet is a colorful, Mediterranean diet with lots of water with lemon, few processed foods, and very little sugar.

There are other estrogen rich foods that can help to combat the menopausal symptoms

Click here to know about Mediterranean diet and its benefits!

New Procedure That Can Delay Menopause By 20 Years

This is the first project in the world to provide healthy women ovarian tissue cryopreservation purely to delay the menopause.

A procedure similar to this is conducted on women who receive treatment for cancer. Doctors remove some of their ovarian tissue and then freeze it. When they want to have children, the tissue is grafted next to their fallopian tubes.

The amount of time that menopause is delayed depends on when the tissue is taken and when it is put back. The tissue from a 25-year old will postpone menopause for 20 years, but the tissue taken from a 40-year old woman will only pause menopause for five years. (source)

Conclusion:

On average, women in developed countries spend one-third of their lives in menopause; thus, the physiology of menopause has become a matter of public health.

There are various new techniques that help in the detection of the menopause. It is not necessary that all women have to go through the tough period of menopause as preventive measures taken at the right time helps to avoid the symptoms of the menopause.

 

For More Articles Click Below:

Estrogen Rich Food For Menopausal Women

Can You Predict Your Menopause Symptoms

Why Women Need More Sleep Than Men

26 Myths About Acne And Its Treatment

 

Self life hacks

Doctor by profession and blogger by passion

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