Nearly everyone knows that menopause can bring an onslaught of annoying symptoms from hot flashes and night sweats to mood swings and memory lapses. These topics are frequently covered in women's magazines and health journals and are often the subject of light-hearted jokes as aging women learn to poke fun at themselves. What you may not know it is that menopause can also cause a host of skin problems that can leave you feeling old and worn out. But you don't need to suffer in silence. Learn how menopause affects your skin and what you can do to combat the negative effects.
How does menopause affect the skin?
As a woman nears menopause, her body gradually decreases its estrogen production. This hormone is typically known as the female hormone and is responsible for the changes that occur in a woman's body during puberty and for maintaining a healthy reproductive system. As child-bearing years come to an end, the body no longer needs estrogen to regulate the menstrual cycle and it decreases the production of this hormone. Unfortunately, estrogen does more than help with the reproduction system. It also promotes oil and collagen production, both of which are important to smooth, healthy skin. As a result, a lack of estrogen can cause dry, sagging skin and wrinkles.
How do you combat dry, itchy skin?
Dry, itchy skin is a natural result of low oil production. There are a number of things you can do to treat or prevent dry skin. Try these tricks for combating dry skin.
- Avoid long, hot showers. Hot water strips the skin of oils, and the longer the shower the more prominent the effects. Try warm showers and limit your time to 5 to 10 minutes a day.
- Use a moisturizing body wash.
- Apply body lotion while your skin is still damp. This helps to lock in moisture.
- Avoid using mineral oils, such as baby oil or petroleum jelly, on your skin. While it may seem like an easy solution for dry skin, mineral oils are made from petroleum products and do not penetrate the skin. Mineral oils simply coat the skin and can clog pores that may lead to acne and other skin problems. Opt for a vegetable-based body oil instead.
- Use a mild soap on your face and nix the heavy cleansers.
- Always wear sunscreen when leaving your home.
How do you reduce wrinkles and signs of aging?
There are a host of products on the market designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles and signs of aging. But you don't need fancy products to enhance the appearance of your skin. Try these instead.
- Get Plenty of Omega-3 Oils. Consuming more Omega-3 oils from natural sources will boost the oil production in your skin and enhance your beauty from the inside out. Snack on dried seeds and nuts, add flax seed to your salads and smoothies, and consume fatty fish on a regular basis.
- Add soy to your diet. Soy products contain isoflavones that mimic the action of estrogen and will help keep your skin healthy.
- Eat more antioxidants. Antioxidants are found in brightly-colored fruits, berries, and veggies and may help make your skin stronger.
- Get plenty of sleep. A good night's rest can do wonders for your skin, leaving you looking refreshed and your skin with a healthy glow. It will also reduce the appearance of dark circles and bags under the eyes.
Taking care of yourself and your skin during or after menopause is important to maintaining a healthy body and radiant skin. Make it a routine to pamper yourself every day, and you will soon see the results of your efforts smiling back at you in the mirror. For more information, contact a dermatologist at a clinic like Jordan Valley Dermatology.