“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

Aging

Is there an association between aging and skin changes?

In Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. What Can I Do About My Aging Skin? the North American Menopause Society (NAMS) explain:

“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”.2

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:

Menopause Skin Changes“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”.3

Dry and Itching Skin

Is dry and itching skin one of the most common skin changes brought on by menopause?

In How Does Your Skin Change During Menopause the author elaborates on:

“One of the most common skin changes brought on by menopause is dry and itching skin. This is caused by the drop in estrogen that occurs in menopause. Estrogen acts as one of the skin’s natural hydration boosters as it facilitates the production of ceramides, natural hyaluronic acid, and sebum. In the absence of these substances, water easily evaporates from the skin, leaving it dry. Dry skin can then become irritated, causing itching”.4

In How Does Your Skin Change During Menopause the author also adds:

“Experts recommend that dryness and itching during menopause can be mitigated by avoiding products with soap, as soap dries the skin. They also recommend applying moisturizer to help the skin hold onto moisture”.5

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”.6

Are treatments for teenage acne too harsh?

In Caring for Your Skin In Menopause: Pimples and Other Types of Acne – What You Can Do 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”.7

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”.8

Sunlight

Is there an association between sunlight and skin changes?

In Menopause FAQs: Your Health After Menopause – Q. What Can I Do About My Aging Skin? the NAMS explain:

“Exposure to sunlight and other sources of ultraviolet (UV) light is another significant factor in skin changes. Long-term UV ray exposure causes negative effects on skin appearance, including lines, wrinkles, rough texture, and brown spots, to build up over time”.9

Skin Cancer

Is there an association between aging skin and skin cancer?

Yes. The NAMS note:

“Aging skin also is more prone to skin cancer. For this reason, use of a good sunscreen is essential. For optimal UV protection, women should use a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which blocks both UVA and UVB rays. Ideally, it should be applied every day to exposed areas and reapplied every 2 to 3 hours during outdoor activities. Avoiding the sun during peak hours (11 am to 3 pm) and wearing a broad-brimmed hat and solar protective clothing are also advised. Avoid tanning to ensure healthier, more attractive skin—tanned skin means that skin is damaged”.10

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”.11

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…”.12

Products

What products provide skin benefits?

The NAMS explain:

“A moisturizer also can minimize water loss from the skin and make it appear more hydrated. 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”.13

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 as soon as possible.

In How Does Your Skin Change During Menopause the author notes:

“Itching skin can also be an indicator of other problems such as iron deficiency and thyroid problems, for this reason, women are recommended to discuss these symptoms with their healthcare professional”.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. Last Updated: 20 November 2023. American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/anti-aging/skin-care-during-menopause Accessed: 12 March 2024
  2. 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: 12 March 2024
  3. Caring for Your Skin In Menopause. Jowls, Slack Skin, and Wrinkles. Last Updated: 20 November 2023. American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/anti-aging/skin-care-during-menopause Accessed: 12 March 2024
  4. Moore, S. How Does Your Skin Change During Menopause. 09 June 2023 https://www.news-medical.net/news/20230609/How-does-your-Skin-Change-during-Menopause.aspx Accessed: 12 March 2024
  5. Moore, S. How Does Your Skin Change During Menopause. 09 June 2023 https://www.news-medical.net/news/20230609/How-does-your-Skin-Change-during-Menopause.aspx Accessed: 12 March 2024
  6. Caring for Your Skin In Menopause: Pimples and Other Types of Acne. Last Updated: 20 November 2023. American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/anti-aging/skin-care-during-menopause Accessed: 12 March 2024
  7. Caring for Your Skin In Menopause: Pimples and Other Types of Acne – What You Can Do. Last Updated: 20 November 2023. American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-secrets/anti-aging/skin-care-during-menopause Accessed: 12 March 2024
  8. Menopause Glossary: F – Formication. North American Menopause Society https://www.menopause.org/for-women/menopause-glossary#F Accessed: 12 March 2024
  9. 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: 12 March 2024
  10. 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: 12 March 2024
  11. 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: 12 March 2024
  12. Skin Care In Your 40s and 50s: Anti-Aging Skin Care Tips. American Academy of Dermatology https://www.aad.org/public/everyday-care/skin-care-basics/care/skin-care-in-your-40s-and-50s Accessed: 12 March 2024
  13. 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: 12 March 2024
  14. Moore, S. How Does Your Skin Change During Menopause. 09 June 2023 https://www.news-medical.net/news/20230609/How-does-your-Skin-Change-during-Menopause.aspx Accessed: 12 March 2024
Topic Last Updated: 30 April 2024 – Topic Last Reviewed: 12 March 2024

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