Menopause can lead to changes in your skin and hair. Here are the most common ones and how to treat them.
Menopause is one of life’s many eventualities that all women will go through at some stage. It is diagnosed when a woman has gone a year without menstruating and has no other biological or physiological reasons for amenorrhea. For some, it can start in their 40s, but the average age in the United States is 51. This period brings with it some temporary side effects as well as long-term changes to your body. And your hair and skin are no exception.
The Effects of Menopause
Menopause marks the end of a woman’s child-bearing years as her menstruation comes to an end. Epidemiologists predict that by 2025 there will be one billion people experiencing menopause out of the eight billion-strong global population. Initially, this phase can bring with it a host of negative side effects. Some common ones include mood swings, emotional distress, sleep disturbances, weight gain, and hot flashes.
It also brings about some significant changes to your skin and hair, including the following:
- Collagen production drops, so the skin loses elasticity and plumpness
- The skin becomes thinner and more prone to itchiness, dryness, and eczema.
- Menopausal acne can start to flare up due to fluctuating hormone levels
- Dark marks, or sunspots, may become more visible and pronounced as you age
- Hair thinning or hair loss, with texture becoming dryer and more coarse
Fortunately, there are several ways to take care of your skin and hair during and after menopause. Here’s how to keep them healthy and radiant.
Amp Up the Moisturization
Both our hair and skin become dryer as we get older. To combat this, switch to a thicker, more nourishing facial moisturizer. Creams that come in jars or tubs are best. The same goes for your hair and a hydrating hair mask may help to restore moisture and shine.
Avoid Harsh Ingredients
Many people experience breakouts, skin irritation, and other rashes during menopause as the skin become thinner and, sometimes, more sensitive. Rather than using harsh products that could aggravate the skin, opt for gentle, fragrance-free skincare instead.
Don’t Forget the SPF
When we are younger, our skin may repair sun-induced damage more easily. Once women hit menopause, however, skin cannot bounce back as well and is more prone to damage from environmental stressors such as UV rays.
It is important to note, however, that sun protection should be stressed from an early age as childhood sunburns are often the cause of skin cancer later in life, particularly melanoma, the most deadly type of skin cancer. Cumulative sun exposure throughout life is linked to basal and squamous cell skin cancers.
Hang on to Your Hair
As estrogen levels decrease during menopause, our hair can start to thin, particularly along the frontal part and at the temples. If you notice significant thinning, it is important to see a dermatologist early to discuss treatment options to slow progression.