“In menopause, skin quickly loses collagen. Studies show that women’s skin loses about 30% of its collagen during the first five years of menopause”.1

Umbrella
What may the Menopause Skin Changes Umbrella include?

Depending on the Source (DotS) this Umbrella may include:

  • Acne
  • Dry Skin
  • Formication
  • Itchy Skin
  • Less Elastic or “Stretchy” Skin
  • Less Younger Looking Skin
  • Saggy Skin
  • Thinner Feeling Skin
  • Wrinkly Skin

Menopause

Is there an association between menopause and skin changes?

Yes. In Caring for Your Skin In Menopause: Jowls, Slack Skin, and Wrinkles the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) elaborate on:

“In menopause, skin quickly loses collagen. Studies show that women’s skin loses about 30% of its collagen during the first five years of menopause. After that, the decline is more gradual. Women lose about 2% of their collagen ever year for the next 20 years.

As collagen diminishes, our skin loses it firmness and begins to sag. Jowls appear. Permanent lines run from the tip of the nose to the corners of the mouth. Wrinkles that used to appear only with a smile or frown become visible all the time.

Later, the tip of the nose dips. You may see pouches under your eyes.

Large pores also are due to lack of skin firmness”.2

Aging

Is there an association between aging and skin changes?

Yes. In Skin Care and Aging the (United States) National Institute on Aging (NIA) elaborate on:

Menopause Skin Changes “Your skin changes with age. It becomes thinner, loses fat, and no longer looks as plump and smooth as it once did. Your veins and bones can be seen more easily. Scratches, cuts, or bumps can take longer to heal. Years of sun tanning or being out in the sunlight for a long time may lead to wrinkles, dryness, age spots, and even cancer. But, there are things you can do to protect your skin and to make it feel and look better”.3

In Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. What can I do about my aging skin? the NAMS also note:

“A. Aging skin undergoes loss of structural proteins (collagen) and elasticity, which creates sags and wrinkles. It also becomes less able to retain moisture, leading to increased dryness. Hormones play an important role in skin health. In particular, for women diminished levels of estrogen at menopause contribute to a decline in skin collagen and thickness”.4

Sunlight

Is there an association between sunlight and skin changes?

Yes. The NAMS explain:

“Exposure to sunlight causes skin to age and is responsible for variations in pigmentation (skin colour). Because aging skin is more prone to sun damage (including skin cancer), use of a good sunscreen is essential”.5

Smoking

Is there an association between smoking and skin changes?

Yes. According to the NAMS:

“In smokers, the effects of aging are more pronounced, and long-time smokers have more skin damage. Maintaining skin health is one of several good reasons not to smoke or to quit smoking”.6

Acne

Is there an association between acne and midlife?

In Caring for Your Skin In Menopause: Pimples and Other Types of Acne the AAD note:

“As levels of female hormones drop before and during menopause, some women develop teenage-like acne”.7

Are treatments for teenage acne too harsh?

The AAD explain:

“Because a woman’s skin is thinner and drier, treatments for teenage acne are often too harsh. Dermatologists recommend that you:

  • Wash acne-prone skin with a cleanser that contains salicylic acid. This helps unclog pores
  • Avoid acne products that dry your skin. Drying your skin can worsen acne
  • Make a dermatology appointment if you cannot get acne under control. A hormonal treatment may be necessary”.8

Formication

What is formication?

DotS the definition of formication may vary. The NAMS’s definition is:

“Formication. Irritating sensations to the skin, ranging from severe itching to phantom symptoms of “ants crawling on their skin” experienced by some perimenopausal women”.9

Dry Itchy Skin

What are some ways to help dry, itchy skin?

The NIA explain:

“Here are some ways to help dry, itchy skin:

  • Use moisturizers, like lotions, creams, or ointments, every day
  • Take fewer baths or showers and use milder soap. Warm water is less drying than hot water. Don’t add bath oil to your water. It can make the tub too slippery
  • Try using a humidifier, an appliance that adds moisture to a room”.10

Anti-Aging Skin Care Tips

What are some anti-aging skin care tips?

In Skin Care In Your 40s and 50s: How To Create An Anti-Aging Skin Care Plan the American Academy of Dermatology elaborate on:

“Anti-Aging Skin Care Tips

  1. Protect your skin from the sun…
    • Seek shade…
    • Cover up in style…
    • Slather on the sunscreen every day before going outdoors…
  2. Forget about indoor tanning….
  3. Apply moisturizer everyday…
  4. Wash away dirt and grime twice a day…
  5. Stop smoking…
  6. Eat healthy foods…
  7. Get enough sleep…”.11

Products

What products provide skin benefits?

The NAMS explain:

“Most cream-based moisturizers contain ingredients that boost the outer layer of the skin. Other components, such as hyaluronic acid and topical retinoids, have shown to provide skin benefits”.12

Health Care Provider

What if I have some skin changes I am concerned about, including down there?

If you have some skin changes you are concerned about – anywhere – it may be in your best interest to choose to talk to your health care provider about this. The NIA note:

“Check your skin often. If you find any changes that worry you, see your doctor”.13

The AAD also note:

“Skin cancer and pre-cancerous skin growths also become more common”.14

Health Topics A-Z

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Sources

Where may I find the Sources quoted?

You may find the Sources quoted at:

Sources

  1. Caring for Your Skin In Menopause. Jowls, Slack Skin, and Wrinkles. American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/skin-care-during-menopause Accessed: 23 September 2020
  2. Caring for Your Skin In Menopause. Jowls, Slack Skin, and Wrinkles. American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/skin-care-during-menopause Accessed: 23 September 2020
  3. Skin Care and Aging. Content Reviewed: 01 October 2017. National Institute on Aging https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/skin-care-and-aging Accessed: 23 September 2020
  4. Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. What can I do about my aging skin? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-your-health-after-menopause Accessed: 23 September 2020
  5. Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. What can I do about my aging skin? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-your-health-after-menopause Accessed: 23 September 2020
  6. Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. What can I do about my aging skin? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-your-health-after-menopause Accessed: 23 September 2020
  7. Caring for Your Skin In Menopause: Pimples and Other Types of Acne. American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/skin-care-during-menopause Accessed: 23 September 2020
  8. Caring for Your Skin In Menopause: Pimples and Other Types of Acne – What You Can Do. American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/skin-care-during-menopause Accessed: 23 September 2020
  9. Menopause Glossary: F – Formication. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-glossary#F Accessed: 23 September 2020
  10. Skin Care and Aging: Dry Skin and Itching. Content Reviewed: 01 October 2017. National Institute on Aging https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/skin-care-and-aging Accessed: 23 September 2020
  11. Skin Care In Your 40s and 50s: Anti-Aging Skin Care Tips. American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/skin-care-basics/skin-care-in-your-40s-and-50s Accessed: 23 September 2020
  12. Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. What can I do about my aging skin? North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-faqs-your-health-after-menopause Accessed: 23 September 2020
  13. Skin Care and Aging: Keep Your Skin Healthy. Content Reviewed: 01 October 2017. National Institute on Aging https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/skin-care-and-aging#healthy Accessed: 23 September 2020
  14. Caring for Your Skin In Menopause: Age Spots and Other Signs of Sun Damaged Skin. American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/public/skin-hair-nails/skin-care/skin-care-during-menopause Accessed: 23 September 2020

Topic Last Updated: 23 September 2020 – Topic Last Reviewed: 23 September 2020
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