How to Care for Your Skin During Menopause
Menopause is a life-cycle stage all women go through at some point. If you’ve landed on this article you are probably experiencing this life change for yourself. For many women, the hormonal changes menopause brings with it can cause noticeable changes to your skin and hair. However, a few helpful tips may help ease the effects of menopause.
Age and Sun Spots
If you have spent prolonged periods of time in the sun without proper protection, you may start seeing effects now through age spots or sun spots. To protect your skin from further damage, apply a broad-spectrum sunscreen daily. Then, make an appointment with your dermatologist. Your dermatologist will want to ensure they are not anything more serious, like early stages of skin cancer.
As your hormone levels drop, you may notice your skin bruising more easily. This is due to your skin becoming thinner with the decrease in hormone levels. Again, the best thing you can do first is to begin applying sunscreen often to prevent further damage. Then, talk with your dermatologist about possible treatment options that might work for you. Retinol creams or other treatments may be availible options for treating thinning skin, but aren’t always right for everyone.
Your skin may also lose some of its ability to hold water. This will be especially noticeable if you live in a climate with dry air or cooler temperatures. Switching from using a soap to a mild cleanser may help, as well as apply moisturizer throughout the day.
With dropping hormone levels, you may find new hair growth in unwanted places, like on your face and neck. While waxing may be an option for removal, you will most likely want to consult your dermatologist about laser-hair removal, which is less harsh on thinning skin. Alternatively, if you notice hair loss from your scalp, see your dermatologist. They will first identify if the underlying cause is in fact menopause and then discuss options for treatment.
Perhaps one of the most noticeable signs of menopause in skin is the decrease in collagen. According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, a woman’s skin loses about 30% of its collagen during the first five years of menopause. This causes skin to lose its elasticity and “sag.” To counteract this, continue to protect skin from further damage using a broad-spectrum SPF and talk to your dermatologist to see if the application of retinols or peptides, which increase collagen in skin, may help.
Finally, with hormonal changes acne can return your face and body. However, treatment of menopausal acne should be done differently from teenage-acne. Avoid using acne products that will dry your skin. Rather, use a cleanser that contains salicylic acid to cleanse pores. Additionally, hormonal therapy may be a good option for treatment. Talk to your dermatologist about hormonal therapy.
Across all symptoms, we recommend talking to your dermatologist about how to best treat your skin during menopause. By making an appointment with one of our physicians, we can help come up with a plan customized just for your skin’s specific needs. Savannah River Dermatology is located at 575 Furys Ferry Road in Augusta, Ga. For appointment, our office can be reached at 706-691-7079.