You know about hot flashes/flushes, but you may not be prepared for a lesser known side effect of perimenopause: changes in your skin.
Changes in Hormones
When we enter perimenopause, the production of estrogen begins to slow down until it stops.
Estrogen stimulates the formation of skin-smoothing oil and collagen, which also begins to slow down once we reach perimenopause.
Changes in your skin during perimenopause are mainly due to rapidly falling estrogen levels.
The dermis is a layer of skin that is mostly made up of collagen.
Collagen, along with elastin, is responsible for the structure and elasticity of the skin.
In only five years after menopause, you may expect to lose over a third of your skin’s collagen content.
The outer layer of the skin produces fewer glycosaminoglycans, often known as GAGs, as estrogen levels drop.
This hormonal shift causes a decrease in collagen production, making skin less elastic.
Estrogen promotes water retention and plumpness in the skin, and when estrogen levels drop, some of the molecules that keep the skin moisturized are lost.
Perimenopause vs. Menopause
Perimenopause differs from menopause in that periods may become erratic, but you still have estrogen.
Because you’re having hot flashes during perimenopause, your skin may get red.
You may also experience breakouts, and previously balanced skin may develop dry or oily spots.
At this point, rosacea can appear.
Things change after a woman reaches menopause.
You won’t notice many changes in your skin if you start estrogen therapy but your skin will get quite dry if you do not take estrogen therapy.
Because there is a link between collagen formation, skin thickness, and estrogen deficiency, skin thins after menopause.
Dryness is exacerbated by a natural slowing in cell turnover and a decrease in humectants in the skin.
Some people will see skin changes right away, while others will notice it over time.
The difficulty is that while hormone therapy is effective, transdermal estrogen is frequently used as a menopause treatment, and not everyone is a candidate.
Most Common Skin Issues
During menopause, your skin begins to thin, and the upper layer becomes less effective at storing water.
Estrogen is crucial not just for collagen production, but also for the production of the oils that keep your skin moisturized.
Dry skin can cause itchy skin in addition to being annoying and preventing you from looking your best.
For many postmenopausal women, hormonal imbalances can result in the development of adult acne.
Stress, which is a frequent symptom of menopause, leads your body to create androgens in addition to cortisol.
Because androgens activate the oil glands in your skin, they frequently cause acne breakouts.
More skin cells die or atrophy when collagen is lost and synthesized in lower amounts after menopause.
As a result, the skin’s look changes, and wrinkles form.
In the worst-case scenario, if your skin dries up too much during the transition, you may experience pruritis, an itchy sensation that makes you want to scratch and scratch.
This can manifest itself in the arms and legs, the back, or the chest.
Loss of plumpness and sagging
Collagen is a protein that connects the tissues of the body.
When estrogen levels drop, so does collagen formation in the skin.
Collagen deficiency causes the skin to lose its young volume and firmness.
Many people take collagen supplements or eat high-collagen meals like bone broth to fight this problem.
However, the verdict on this method is still out.
Tips for Smoother and Fresher Skin
Use gentle soap.
Using mild or lightly scented soap bars will help retain your body’s essential oils, leaving your skin with the healthy amount of oil and cleanliness.
After you gently towel dry your skin, smooth on your favorite moisturizer.
Using petroleum jelly will help too.
Keep yourself hydrated.
Drinking water will help your body produce healthy fluids that keep your skin moisturized.
Prevention is always better than a cure.
Exposure to too much heat dries your skin out even more.
Apply sunscreen before you leave the house.
A dermatologist can help you find the right regimen for you.
Ask your primary provider or GP for a referral or search online for one in your area.
mySysters is an app for women in perimenopause and menopause.
Good Housekeeping and Woman’s Day named mySysters the Best App for Women in Perimenopause and a Must Have App for Women.
The preceding information does not constitute medical advice or treatment.