Menopause Affect on Skin
Menopause occurs in most women in their early
50s. But in the 5 to 10 year period prior to
menopause, our hormonal systems are already
beginning to change, even though we still often
have regular periods. Usually women in their 40s
notice that their periods are gradually getting
During menopause, as estrogen levels decrease,
testosterone (produced by the adrenal glands) is
no longer masked in the woman's body. Thus,
during menopause, the lowered estrogen levels
result in less production and repair of collagen
and elastin in the dermis of the skin.
Hormonal changes and declines, as well as the slowdown in ovarian activity (which includes the decrease in B-Estradiol levels), cause many of the changes we see associated with menopause.
Hormones can cause hot flashes, which are intense feelings of warmth in the skin, particularly of the face, accompanied by profusesweating. In addition, the adrenal glands and ovaries of post-menopausal women secrete increased androgens. These hormones, in the absence of estrogens, cause some menopausal symptoms such as voice deepening, and appearance of facial hair.
It is the job of estrogens to stimulate fat deposits over the female body, however, as our estrogen levels decline during menopause, our fat deposits become redistributed over the abdomen and or on the thighs and buttocks. Because the redistribution is concentrated in these areas, this leads to a loss of supportive fat below the skin of the face, neck, hands, and arms. Therefore, the skin changes over these areas and become less compressed allowing sagging and wrinkles to appear.Other reasons for sagging are significant weight changes throughout your life and lymphatic drainage (removal of toxins) declining resulting in the breakdown of the support structures that keep the skin firm. Sagging usually takes a hold in your late 40s, 50s and beyond.
Thinning of the skin
During menopause the blood flow through the skin’s capillaries is reduced as the capillaries are partly under the control of the estrogens, resulting in fewer nutrients and oxygens feeding the skin. This is a contributory factor both to the thinning of the skin and reduced cell turnover rate leading to water loss and dry skin.
Dry skin happens as your skin ages because it fails to produce natural oils partly due to a decrease in hormone production. Seasonal changes also affect menopause skin changes.
Estrogens 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 menopause arrives, melanin synthesis increases (due to lack of regulation by estrogen). This can result in brown “age spots” appearing on the face, hands, neck, arms and chest of many women.
The acne is deeper and not superficial.
In peri-menopause, the amount of androgen stays about the same. But because estrogen and progesterone are decreasing, the “male” hormones are relatively higher than they were. This can cause breakouts. Small tender bumps. There are fewer blackheads than whiteheads. Those small, tender cysts are most often found around thejaw line, around the mouth, and sometimes on the neck. Less T-zone acne. There’s less acne in the cheek area and more acne around the chin, mouth, and upper neck. The lesions last longer, sometimes taking 2 to 4 weeks to resolve rather than a few days to a week. Unpredictability—sometimes menopausal women will be clear for months and then suddenly break out again. Because acne is different in peri-menopause, many of the medications, both oral and in a cream form, that are made for teenage acne don’t work very well in peri-menopausal women.
Facial, Peels and Microdermabrasion.
If your acne is mostly blackheads or whiteheads, clogged pores, then, peels and microdermabrasion will help. If your acne is more bumps under the surface, you need to get professional facial treatments on a regular base.