Menopause, which typically happens around age 51 defined as not having a period for one year, and the ten-year period leading up to it known as perimenopause, can be extremely challenging for women. Although hot flushes are the most commonly discussed symptom, there are up to 60 other potential signs. The sharp drop in oestrogen levels during perimenopause can cause various problems throughout the body, including sleep disruption, headaches, tinnitus, joint pain, and mood swings. Skin is also vulnerable to these effects. This blog will explore some of the impact of menopause and perimenopause on the skin and suggest ways to care for it.
Everyone’s experience is different, but below are some of the most common skin concerns faced by women during this time.
The reduction in oestrogen can cause skin to become dry and itchy. This is because oestrogen helps keep the epidermis thin and produces the oils needed to keep it supple. Drier skin can be sensitive, and prone to micro tears which allow irritants to literally get under the skin.
Using a gentler cleanser is job one if your skin is getting dry. I also highly recommend a skin booster such as Profhilo, which is a form of stabilised hyaluronic acid injected just underneath the surface of the skin, instantly boosting hydration. More recently in the world of aesthetics are the powerful, regenerative, anti inflammatory exosmes, taking the anti ageing industry by storm – blog on this to follow
Welcome back to your teenage years! The bouncing around of hormone levels during peri and menopause can trigger acne flare ups, much like you might have experienced during puberty. Acne can not only be unsightly but also painful, with many women reporting a return of cystic acne (hard pus-filled lumps).
Medical grade skincare is the best treatment for acne, make sure you speak to your specialist about the right product for you. Obaji CLENZiderm is a range of prescription-strength acne treatment that contains benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid and I often recommend and prescribe this to my patients suffering with nodular breakout.
Reduced oestrogen during the perimenopause means less natural collagen, and it’s collagen that makes the skin plump. Add that to a loss of fat from the areas which are usually plump (especially the cheeks), and sagging is the result.
The good news is that there are treatments that can help with sagging skin. I love a rejuvenating laser treatment to improve elasticity, because they reveal fresh new skin and trigger the body’s natural collagen response. Chemical peels and microneedling, are also a popular choice, boosting collagen levels and improving the skin quality with their exfoliation and collagen boosting actions
Dermal fillers can also replace and redistribute lost volume and help you regain your former face shape.
Dryness and the dramatic reduction in collagen, as well as less elastic skin and depleted fat stores can all contribute to fine lines and wrinkles. One of the very best treatments for those fine lines and wrinkles is without doubt Botox (also known as antiwrinkle injections) particularly to the frown area and crows feet where the wrinkles can either be completely erased or noticeably softened. Women tell me they appear (often informed by ‘honest’ relatives or small children without a filter) angry even when they are not feeling angry, this is because the muscles are pulling the skin in such a way, that they look cross as deeper wrinkles and folds become more established on the face.
Laser is a great modality for resurfacing the skin, penetrating into the deeper layers of the skin, then activating the fibroblasts which stimulate collagen and elastin production. Halo BBL is a gold standard treatment for fine lines, wrinkles and skin renewal, especially effective for evening out the skin tone by significantly reducing pigmentation and/or redness, which we know and understand worsens when women start their perimenopause / menopause phase. Yes, back to the pesky hot flushes! Skin discolouration can be the biggest indicator when it comes to positive ageing and more of an age giveaway than wrinkles and lines believe it or not.
Of course, don’t forget to wear a decent SPF too, preferably factor 30 or above. Sun damage will contribute to those age spots, wrinkles and fine lines, not to mention causing pigmentation and dullness.
It might cause mayhem with your skin, but with the right treatments you can enjoy happier, more radiant looking skin throughout the perimenopause and beyond menopause. If you’d like to find out more about the right treatments for you, then don’t hesitate to get in touch.