Everyone knows menopause can cause hot flashes, fatigue, and even anxiety. But did you also know the hormonal changes and decreased ovarian activity that occur during and after menopause change the skin’s physiology? As a woman gets closer to menopause, you might start noticing changes such as:
- Oily skin. As estrogen levels decrease, testosterone is no longer masked. Testosterone stimulates sebaceous glands, which gives the appearance of oily skin and can sometimes result in acne.
- More facial hair. Changes in testosterone can also cause women to grow facial hair, especially on the chin.
- Wrinkles. As estrogen levels drop, fat deposits shift from the face, neck, hands, and arms to the abdomen. Because skin has less fat beneath it, it can sag and cause wrinkles.
- A thinning epidermis. Blood flow through the dermal capillaries is reduced during menopause, which means there’s less oxygen flowing to the basal cell layers of the epidermis. This change can cause an increase in trans-epidermal water loss and dry skin.
- Age spots and hyperpigmentation. Brown age spots might appear on the hands, neck, arms, and chest due to a change in estrogen levels.
- More sun damage. Estrogen controls the maintenance of the cells that manufacture the pigment Melanin. As menopause progresses, fewer cells are produced, which leads to sun damage.
- Elastosis. Low estrogen levels result in less production and repair of collagen and in the dermis of the skin, which results in elastosis.
Dermatologists near Boston, MA
While the changes that occur during menopause vary depending on the woman, it’s still important to consult a dermatologist.
Contact our office for information on procedures and treatments that can help combat the changes in skin that occur during menopause.