The changes women experience during menopause don’t just affect their insides. Skin and hair also go through a transition. If you’re seeing noticeable changes in the health, texture and appearance of your hair and skin, chances are you can blame declining levels of the hormone estrogen. These unwanted and often unexpected changes can be frustrating, but there are things you can do to protect your skin and hair throughout the menopause transition.
Since estrogen is linked to hair growth, density and fullness, as hormone levels decrease, head hair can become dryer, more brittle, and thinner. And due to a greater proportion of androgens (male hormones), you may begin to notice some hair on your face that’s more like male facial hair, particularly on the jaw line. You may also notice a decrease in body hair, including the pubic area.
Declining estrogen also means skin gets thinner and less elastic due to a decrease in collagen. Without their usual supply of estrogen, our bodies produce less of the oil that both softens skin and helps it retain moisture. Menopausal skin loses elasticity and hydration and becomes thinner, dryer, and loose. Many women find they have acne again for the first time since puberty. Skin becomes more prone to rashes and bruising and may heal more slowly during this time.
There are many causes for changes in hair and skin as you age. It's best to visit with a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment, as well as to rule out any underlying conditions that may be attributed to what you are experiencing.
If you are dealing with unwanted facial hair in menopause, there are a few options to consider, although they can come with some downside:
The signs of hair loss in women may include an increase in hair falling out each day, noticing patches of thinner or missing hair, a widening part at the top of your head, or even noticeably smaller ponytails.
Before pursuing hair loss treatment, it's important to talk with your doctor or dermatologist to learn the cause of your hair loss, as well as treatment options that are right for you . Your healthcare provider will do a thorough history as well as order relevant tests to help diagnose your hair loss:
If it’s thinning head hair you are experiencing, unfortunately, there are few solutions. The good news is, the loss generally slows as hormones level out.
Before you do anything to aid your age-related skin changes, we recommend locating a dermatologist who has experience with women in menopause, as all skin is different and should be treated with real care. Note that some procedures work best on skin that’s aged from sunlight rather from estrogen loss. Some options include:
Probably the best thing you can do for your skin and hair, no matter what your age, is protect what you have.
When it comes to skin, we strongly advise getting to know your skin very well. Checking your skin every month for changes can perhaps mean catching a potentially serious problem like skin cancer while still in its early and more treatable stages.
For unwanted facial hair, sugaring, tweezing, waxing, and threading may be slow and tedious, but they can be less expensive, less potentially damaging to skin, and reasonably effective, if a bit painful.
To preserve head hair, use gentle styling techniques that require less heat and pulling. Shampoo with zinc or selenium might help with a dry and itchy scalp. A shorter hair style might help make hair appear fuller.
Some say eating estrogenic foods such as soy, dried fruits, and flaxseed can help, though there’s no research to back that up. Others take collagen supplements, though currently there’s little evidence to prove the impact on menopausal hair and skin.
The effect of changing hormones on your hair and skin may seem out of your control, but when you prioritize your wellness during this stage of life, you will support your body and your beauty from the inside out. Keep feeling and looking your best in menopause and beyond by maximizing your nutrition with a healthy and balanced diet, staying hydrated as well as exercising each day. And please visit with your doctor or a dermatologist when it comes to concerning hair and skin changes, no matter what your age.
The information on the Gennev site is never meant to replace the care of a qualified medical professional. Hormonal shifts throughout menopause can prompt a lot of changes in your body, and simply assuming something is “just menopause” can leave you vulnerable to other possible causes. Always consult with your physician or schedule an appointment with one of Gennev's telemedicine doctors before beginning any new treatment or therapy.
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