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Ironing Out the Wrinkles of Menopause

From the Menopause and Hormones Articles List

woman dealing with wrinkles during menopauseWhat can I do about wrinkles during menopause?

Wrinkles are a natural part of the aging process, but they can intensify during menopause. Why? Estrogen helps keep your skin looking young and healthy. It’s almost like your own personal fountain of youth. When estrogen dries up with menopause, you're left with a pile of wrinkles.

But wait, you may be able to slow them down. The key to ironing out those wrinkles may come in the form of estrogen. Yes, we said it. Sounds scandalous. Sounds adventurous. Sounds risky! But, with some understanding, there may be ways to add some of the benefits while minimizing the risks.

Let's make the connections:

The Estrogen - Hydration Connection

Your skin it made up of three layers: the epidermis (outer), the dermis (middle), and the hypodermis. The epidermis layer is made up mostly of water. And what do you need to help your skin maintain its fluid balance? That's right -- Estrogen!

Without enough estrogen, the outer layer of skin becomes dry and flaky, leaving your skin looking dull and prone to wrinkles. That lack of moisture also contributes to thinning of your skin, letting it become more wrinkled.

The Estrogen - Collagen Connection

The second layer of skin, the dermis, it made up mostly of collagen, the key ingredient for moist, supple, youthful skin. Collagen keeps wrinkles away by making your skin thicker, more plump, and elastic.

And, once again, estrogen plays a significant role. While collagen production slows a tiny bit each year after you reach about 30, it slows more rapidly once your estrogen levels drop. Without enough collagen, you skin loses it fullness, becoming thinner and more prone to wrinkles. And to add insult to injury, this layer can also become dehydrated, contributing to overall dryness and flaking which can leave your skin looking dull so that wrinkles are more prominent. It also loses its elasticity, resulting in sagging and wrinkles.

The Estrogen - Fat Connection

The last layer of skin, the hypodermis, is also know as the subcutaneous fat layer. You need some healthy fat under the skin of your face to give it structure and support. Fat also protects the skin's blood vessels and nerves, acts as a shock absorber, and helps control body temperature.

When estrogen levels drop, your body changes how it manages and where it stores fat. While menopause leaves you fighting extra fat around your waist, it causes the opposite for your face -- but that's not a good thing. Without those fat deposits, your skin becomes thinner and more wrinkled. Your skin can also begin to sag, further increasing wrinkles. There's also less protection and body temperature control.

Ironing Out Wrinkles

Your war with wrinkles begins with perimenopause as your skin begins to change from dropping estrogen levels. And it only gets worse with full-fledged menopause.

While you can’t prevent menopause completely, you can control some of it’s impact when it comes to your skin. Perimenopause is a gradual process, so you have time to make some adjustments and changes with your lifestyle and skin care routine. Besides asking your doctor about the various estrogen therapy options, make sure that you are
  • staying hydrating - inside and out,
  • protecting your skin from the sun and elements, and
  • nourishing your skin through diet and skin care products.
While you may not be able to stop menopause, you can control how much it affects you. Taking care of your skin today is like investing in a fountain of youth for tomorrow. Make an appointment today to talk to your doctor about menopause and your skin so you can be proactive about those wrinkles.

This content was written by staff of HysterSisters.com by non-medical professionals based on discussions, resources and input from other patients for the purpose of patient-to-patient support.

06-14-2016 - 05:32 PM


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