What Causes Dry Skin During Menopause?

As always that pesky Oestrogen is to blame because it is your powerhouse hormone. It stimulates maturation of your body at puberty and helps keep your bones strong. Another thing Oestrogen does is stimulate the production of skin-smoothing collagen and oils. That’s why, as menopause approaches and Oestrogen production diminishes, dry, itchy skin becomes very common, says Elizabeth Tanzi, MD, co-director of the Washington Institute of Dermatologic Laser Surgery.

Yup! What Oestrogen gives collagen and oils it also taketh away. So, as menopause approaches and causes a decline in Oestrogen, you get dry, itchy skin. This decrease in moisture can begin with perimenopause and carry on right up until you are post-menopausal. Not only is your skin’s moisture production diminished, but so is your skin’s ability to hold on to, or retain, whatever moisture it has. Itchy skin can occur on any part of your body, but is more likely to occur on your:

  • Face
  • Limbs
  • Neck
  • Chest
  • Back

You may also experience itchy skin on your elbows and the T-zone of your face.

During menopause, you may also experience additional changes to your skin, such as:

  • Acne
  • Rashes
  • Pigmentation
  • Wrinkling

Ergo, you end up with a complete body full of dryness your face, your elbows, knees, feet, nails and many other areas!  But not just any fats, though; you want the good kinds of fats that nourish your body and skin. You’re losing natural oils, but essential fatty acids can help replace them and keep your skin better hydrated. Think Omega-3s: salmon, eggs, some nuts and seeds. or even maybe a fish oil supplement 😉

It may not replace the moisture that’s lost, but it can help protect your skin from further sun damage.

Go SPF 15 or higher to block out the bad rays, but remember you’re also blocking your body’s ability to produce Vitamin D, so if you’re fanatical about the sunscreen, consider a vitamin D supplement.

Super hot water can be damaging, as can harsh soaps. Opt for gentle cleansers designed for sensitive skin and learn to embrace the tepid. What nature hath taken away, you can giveth yourself back again. But there are a lot of choices out there so pick carefully.