Itchy Skin and Our Hormonal Changes
Many women find their skin becomes drier and itchier when they reach their forties. Very few women link skin problems to their PeriMenopause and Menopause transition. Of all women’s dermatological conditions, itchy skin is one of the most common midlife skin problems.
Did you know that many women also experience acne, thinning skin, wrinkles, and skin pigment changes.
For Women in Business, suffering with itchy and dry skin, plus the compound effect of the other 39 changes, can be particularly challenging, with 51% of women reporting they take time away from their business or career due to PeriMenopausal and Menopausal symptoms.
MY ITCHY SKIN STORY
During my PeriMenopause and Menopause my skin got more itchy and dry each day. I suffered with sore patches and felt very self conscious when wearing short sleeve tops.
The build up of dry skin then caused acne on my face which I had not had since I was a teenager. My hormonal changes were playing havoc with my skin from “top to toe”.
WHAT CAUSES ITCHY SKIN?
Oestrogen plays a key role in preventing dry skin by stimulating oils and collagen that help maintain skin health and density. The decrease of oestrogen and sudden changes to your body’s hormones means that both collagen and oil production slows down.
The collagen protein helps skin stay smooth. As there are now decreased amounts of collagen, skin becomes slacker, causing wrinkles. The decline in oil production means your body won’t retain moisture as well, causing dry, itchy skin.
Women going through menopause can also experience an outbreak of acne around the lower parts of the face. Many people think that acne is a condition left in the past with puberty. This is not the case during menopause, due to the hormonal changes. Menopausal dry skin can exacerbate acne.
Dry skin prevents cell membranes’ ‘lipid bilayer’ from blocking bacteria, causing skin cells to build up on the surface. This build-up of dead skin cells can also trap acne-causing bacteria on the skin.
HOW TO MANAGE ITCHY SKIN
I have found the best way to managing midlife and menopausal skin is adopting both an inside and outside approach to skincare.
- Avoid Hot Showers – Very hot water can strip your skin of moisture. Try bathing in warm water for a short amount of time (five or ten minutes) adding essential oils to keep your skin nourished and moisturised or take a warm shower with an oily body wash.
- Moisturise Damp Skin – To keep the moisture locked in, apply lotions, creams and essential oils when your skin is damp. When you get out of the shower, gently pat dry your skin (leaving it slightly wet). Then apply your face and body moisturiser to lock in moisture.
- Wear Sunscreen – Sunscreen should be part of your skincare routine by now. Wear a daily moisturising lotion with SPF or – if you’re planning to be in the sun – use a sunscreen with SPF between 30 and 50.
- Use Oatmeal – In severe cases oatmeal has been used to combat dry skin for centuries. Oats contain chemicals called avenanthramides that can reduce redness and help inflammation caused by overly dry skin. Add ground up oats to your bath and soak for 15 minutes.
- Skin Care Routine – You might have to re-assess your skin care routine to cope with outbreaks. Midlife skin problems can knock your confidence, but looking after yourself and making a few changes can help.
- Water – Hydration is important. Drinking 2 litres of water a day will keep the systems of your body hydrated. The first organ to suffer from dehydration is the skin, so if you notice dryness, check in to see how much fluid you are giving it.
- Food – Eat meals rich in oils and protein including fish, avocado and nuts. Cut down on sugar & alcohol to reduce stress on digestive system see my previous blog.
ITCHY SKIN SUMMARY
Oestrogen plays a key role in preventing dry skin by stimulating oils and collagen that help maintain skin health and density.
As well as dry itchy skin, many women also experience acne, thinning skin, wrinkles, and skin pigment changes.
Use my MidLife Resilience Coaching Boost below to help manage dry, itchy skin issues, focusing on Food and Selfcare, so you Feel Stronger through your hormonal changes.
KEEPING WOMEN IN BUSINESS…
Are you a Woman in Business who wants to manage your itchy skin issues before they impact You, Your Family and Your Business?
Do you want to know more about the “40 Changes Over 40″ that happen as you transition through PeriMenopause and Menopause?
Then book a Complimentary Consultation worth £125 including your own MidLife Resilience Assessment to understand where you are on your own PeriMenopause & Menopause Transition…