There are many twist and turns on the journey of life and, for many women, menopause is one of the periods of life they dread the most.
Menopause means the end of one chapter and the beginning of a brand new one, however it is not a transition that always proves to be smooth sailing. While we may be looking forward to being free of our monthly periods and contraception, the thought of hot flushes and brain fog are not something we look forward to.
For some women, the list of Menopausal symptoms can be quite extensive.
Did you know that there are actually 34 recognised symptoms?
The most common of these according to the NHS are:
- Hot Flushes – short, sudden feelings of heat, usually in the face, neck and chest, these can leave your skin red and sweaty.
- Nigh Sweats – hot flushes that occur at night.
- Difficulty sleeping – this can lead to tiredness and irritability during the day.
- Reduced sex drive (libido).
- Brain Fog – difficulties with concentration and memory.
- Vaginal Dryness – pain, itching and discomfort during sex.
- Low mood and anxiety.
- Palpitations – heartbeats that suddenly become more noticeable.
- Joint stiffness, aches and pains.
- Reduced muscle mass.
- Recurring Urinary Tract Infections (UTI).
What the NHS and your Doctor may not talk to you about are the skin changes we can start to notice during the menopause.
The drop in oestrogen has a significant impact on our collagen levels.
Did you know that we lose 30% of our collagen during the first 5 years of menopause?
It’s no wonder that many women feel like they have aged overnight once menopause hits! Add this visual reminder of the changes to the long list of emotional changes and it’s easy to understand why anxiety and depression can make their way to the top of the list of symptoms.
Common skin changes include:
- Dry or itchy skin – this is due to falling oestrogen levels which plays a key roll in skin hydration by helping the skin produce ceramides , hyaluronic acid and sebum.
- Redness and flushing – skin flushing is a well recognised symptom of menopause and can also be caused by rosacea which can be more common in women during menopause.
- Acne and breakouts – changes in hormone levels can leave women with a higher ratio of testosterone which can trigger acne and take us back to puberty-type skin complaints.
- Facial hair – thicker hairs may develop on different areas of the face, including the upper lip, chin, cheeks and jaw line due to the change in hormone levels.
- Pigmentation and sun damage – age spots and thread veins can become more prominent.
- Bruising and skin healing – the lack of oestrogen inhibits collagen production which causes skin and blood vessels to weaken.
- Wrinkles – collagen is the protein that gives strength to the skin, slower collagen production results in a loss of elasticity and the appearance of line and wrinkles.
- Loss of bone density – when women lose bone density from the face, it leads to bones becoming smaller and facial changes being noticed.
Finding the right advice is the key to navigating your way through the choppy seas of the menopause. As well as talking to your doctor about help with hot flushes, brain fog and anxiety, seek the advice of your skin professional who will be able to help you find the perfect menopause skin solution.
As with any skin routine, there is no “one size fits all”, no two women will have the exact same menopause experience.
Menopause is a time for change, this means finding the right changes that fit with you. Whether it’s skincare, exercise, diet or medication. Please remember to be kind to yourself and take time for yourself. xxx