Emma Wedgwood

Navigating Menopausal Skin Changes

Oct. 10, 2023

The menopause, an inevitable facet of the ageing process for women, bringing with it a cascade of changes, both internal and external. While hot flushes, night sweats, and mood swings are well-documented, the often-overlooked impact on the skin deserves due consideration. As women traverse this natural transition, they may find themselves grappling with a variety of skin-related challenges.

The Science Behind Menopausal Skin Changes

The ageing process inherently alters our skin due to a decline in collagen levels, the protein responsible for skin structure, wound healing, and muscle repair. Post the age of 20, collagen loss is a gradual but constant companion, leading to diminished  volume, hydration, plumpness, and elasticity. Menopausal women, however, experience an expedited collagen decline owing to reduced oestrogen levels. Studies indicate a staggering 30% reduction in collagen within the first five years post-menopause, contributing to noticeable changes in skin texture.

Beyond collagen, diminishing oestrogen levels can compromise the skin barrier, resulting in dehydration, dryness, and itchiness.

Menopausal Skin Symptoms: Understanding the Impact

Managing Menopausal Skin Symptoms: A Holistic Approach

For mild symptoms, adjusting one's skincare routine is often the initial step. Gentler, more moisturising cleansers and emollients, avoidance of harsh soaps and fragrances, and mindful bathing practices can alleviate dryness and irritation.

Vaginal soreness and dryness can be addressed with lubricants, moisturisers, and over-the-counter products like Vagisil.

Facial ageing can benefit from retinol, known for aiding skin cell turnover (and the only evidenced anti ageing ingredient), along with diligent sun protection (SPF50) to slow down the aging process.

For severe symptoms, consulting a healthcare professional, preferably a skincare specialist, GP or dermatologist, is advisable. Prescription treatments, including Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), can effectively manage diverse menopausal symptoms, from hot flushes to vaginal dryness.

Conclusion: Prioritising Menopausal Skin Health

As women navigate the multifaceted landscape of menopause, paying attention to skin health is integral. Whether through mindful skincare practices or seeking professional guidance, addressing menopausal skin symptoms contributes to overall well-being. Embracing this natural transition with informed choices ensures that women emerge from menopause not only resilient in spirit but also glowing in skin health.

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