Caring for your skin in menopause

skin in menopause

The menopause is known to cause a range of unpleasant health issues from mood swings to hot flushes. However, one lesser-known symptom is its impact on skin health.

During this transitional period, the skin also undergoes distinct changes. From bouts of dryness to unexpected acne flare-ups, in this blog, we’ll explore these common menopausal skin troubles and how you can tackle them.

Protecting against skin cancer and age spots

Age spots, sometimes called liver spots or sunspots, are small dark areas on your skin. They range from freckle-sized to about a half inch across and are most common in exposed areas like the face, hands, shoulders, and arms. While primarily a cosmetic concern, they develop due to over-exposure to the sun over the years.

You can treat age spots with medications, laser therapy, a chemical peel, dermabrasion, and freezing. The treatment will depend on the size, location, and severity of the age spot.

Another thing to be aware of is the increased risk of skin cancer. With age, our skin’s ability to regenerate and repair diminishes. Regular self-examinations for any new or changing moles, and an annual check-up with a dermatologist can provide reassurance, particularly when any new or changing moles are causing concern.

Remember, prevention is key. Always wear sunscreen, even on cloudy days, and invest in protective clothing and hats.

Managing dry skin in menopause

During the menopause, it isn’t uncommon to develop dry patches of skin. Loss of oestrogen in the skin increases trans-epidermal water loss which makes the skin drier, which in turn can make eczema more of a problem.

To combat this, choose moisturisers with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which can help lock in moisture. You can also use a night cream to provide intensive hydration while you sleep.

If you develop eczema and nothing is helping to clear it up, a dermatologist can provide guidance and advise on the most suitable treatment plan.

Dealing with menopausal acne

It’s a myth that acne only occurs during our teenage years. Up to 25% of women going through menopause can develop acne, and it can be extremely frustrating and embarrassing to deal with.

The hormonal changes can lead to increased sebum production, clogging pores and causing breakouts.

This means that to manage acne brought on by the menopause, a gentle yet effective skincare routine is essential. Dr Juliet Williams can advise on the most appropriate and effective treatments for this type of acne; for example creams are preferable to gel formulation and moisturiser is often required. The recently published SAFA study (Spironolactone for Adult Female Acne) demonstrated that spironolactone can be effective for women experiencing persistent facial acne.