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How does the menopause affect the skin?


Wednesday 18 February 2015    

How does the menopause affect the skin?

Menopause is an incredibly complicated process that all women endures they reach middle age. For some, symptoms appear to be mere end to the monthly cycle. For others, it is a difficult process that can last a few years and cause a variety of changes.

Menopause not only affects the internal body, it affects the skin as well.

Menopause and the skin.

The hormonal changes that occur during and after menopause tend to change the skins physiology in new and different ways.

The decline of B-estradiol during menopause is culprits in the accelerated aging of the skin .We also know that menopause is mostly caused by age related changes in the ovaries, and the number of follicles remaining in the ovaries of menopausal women is significantly reduced. In addition, the follicles those remain become less sensitive to simulation by pituitary hormones, even though their levels are elevated, resulting in fewer mature follicles and a reduction in the production of corpora lutea. This results in lowered estrogen and progesterone production, which in turn leads to changes on the skin.

As a woman gets closer to menopause, the following changes begin to occur in the skin.

Oily skin:

During your reproductive years, B-estradiol stimulates more sebaceous gland secretion (anti-acne effect) As the estrogen levels decrease and testosterone is no longer masked in the women’s body. Testosterone reveals itself by stimulating sebaceous glands to secrete thicker sebum, giving the appearance of oily skin and tendency to adult acne.

Facial hair

Also due to the unmasking of testosterone, some women may develop facial hair, particularly in the chin area.

Sagging skin and wrinkles

Estogens stimulate fat deposits over the female body, as estrogen levels drop during the menopause, fat deposits tend to become redistributed and often concentrated over the abdomen and the thighs and buttocks. The result is a loss of supportive fat below the skin of the face, neck, hands and arms; this allows sagging wrinkles to appear.

 

Thinning epidermis (outer layers of skin)

The growth and maintenance of blood capillaries in the dermis are partially under the control of the estrogens. Thus blood flowing through the dermal capillaries is reduced during menopause, and; essential nutrients and oxygen are available to the layers of the epidermis. This leads to a reduction in barrier function, leading to dry/dehydrated skin.

 Prone to Sun damage

The maintenance of melanocytes (cells that manufacture the pigment melanin)

 Is under the control of estogens. As menopause progresses, the number of melanocytes in the in the skin is reduced (they degenerate). With less melanocyte, we produce less of the protective melanin and skin appears lighter. Menopausal l skin is, therefore, more prone to sun damage, making it even more important to protect the skin with a sunblock.

 

Hyperpigmentation/ age spots

Estogens also temper melanin production. That is estrogen, exerts a regulatory effect on the production of melanin, it keeps it under control in areas of the skin that have been exposed to uv rays over the years  As melanin increases, this can resulting brown ‘age spots’ appearing on the face, hands, neck , arms and chest of many women.

Hot flushes

Hot flushes are defined by a strong warmth in the skin (mainly the face), followed by excessive sweating. It causes dilation of the skin arterioles and sweating.

 

Treating menopausal skin

Your skin care therapist will help you through this difficult time recommending a professional regimen at home to adapt to your changing skin. Regular Dermalogica facials can help further boost your skin care and also help promote relaxation, thus helping to calm your hormones. Also seeing Rudi henry for acupuncture can help alleviate menopausal symptoms.