Itchy Skin? It Could Be a Sign of Menopause!
During menopause, your estrogen and progesterone levels drop, your collagen production usually slows down as well. Collagen is responsible for keeping our skin toned, fresh-looking, resilient. So when you start running low on collagen, it shows in your skin. It gets thinner, drier, flakier, less youthful-looking.
This is another of those signs of menopause that makes you feel older before your time and, in this case, it’s clear why. You may look a little older than you used to. Worst, this sign often shows up early in menopause. Collagen loss is most rapid at the beginning of menopause. It is possible that premature menopause also leads to more rapid collagen loss.
While most women are familiar with the common signs of menopause, such as hot flashes, many are unaware of menopausal effects on the skin. Itchy skin is experienced by many women during this transition. Skin problems during menopause are closely linked with hormonal changes characteristic of this natural period of change.
Skin changes can begin as early as perimenopause, or the time leading up to the cessation of menstrual periods, which can range from three to ten years. Other women may experience skin changes after menopause.
Women who begin to experience dry or itchy skin during menopause are smart to take the time to learn more about this symptom, its causes, and its treatment. Please read on to learn more about itchy skin during menopause.
Symptoms of Itchy Skin
- A small percentages of menopausal women report itchy skin symptoms of formication (a specific type of aesthesia, characterized by creepy, crawling sensations of the skin.
- Many women report that the elbows and the T-zone of the face are the first places where itchy skin develops. Other women report that certain areas of the skin are particularly dry and itchy, such as the limbs, chest, neck, or the back. Even the nails can be affected by itchy skin in menopause.
- Small bumps on the skin surface
- Red or irritated skin
- Skin rash or dry skin
- Abnormal touch sensations, such as numbness, tingling, pricking, crawling
Causes of Itchy Skin
- The most common underlying cause of itchy skin is hormonal changes due to menopause.
- Lowering estrogen and progesterone levels – As estrogen production diminishes around the time of menopause, dry itchy skin becomes a very common symptom. Lowered estrogen levels also decrease the body’s ability to retain moisture and slow down the body’s production of natural skin oils, which also contributes to itchy skin.
Other Rare Causes of Itchy Skin
- While hormonal changes are the most common cause of itchy skin around the time of menopause, other medical conditions can be responsible for itchy skin, such as hypothyroidism, fungal infection, diabetes, skin cancer, vitamin deficiencies, herpes, drug side effects, and drug abuse or withdrawal. While these are rare causes, they are important to be aware of, particularly in cases where itchy skin is accompanied by other unexplained symptoms.
- Women concerned about the causes of itchy skin and those who experience other worrisome signs of menopause are advised to speak with a qualified dermatologist or other medical professional. Fortunately, itchy skin in menopause can often be successfully managed with self-care and natural treatments.
Treatments For Itchy Skin
Treating itchy skin in menopause often requires a number of self-care techniques. Most doctors advise against invasive and risky medical or hormonal treatments for itchy skin during menopause. However, many experts recommend that women combine lifestyle changes with natural treatments, which are often safe and effective in providing itchy skin relief. Some self-care issues are:
- Diet – Increased intake of omega-3 fatty acids found in foods such as salmon, walnuts, fortified eggs, sardines, flaxseed, and soy. Adequate vitamin B intake is also crucial to skin health.
- Increase water intake – This will help to hydrate the skin form the inside out.
- Avoid hot showers – Because hot water can be harsh and drying, experts advise taking shorter showers using warm water.
- Moisturize after showers – Mineral oil and petroleum jelly are both excellent and inexpensive skin moisturizers.
- Use gentle, non-irritating soaps
- Use a quality, broad-spectrum sunscreen
- Avoid other irritants – Avoiding smoke, excess un exposure, stress, and lack of sleep can also help to manage itchy skin.
While self-care measures can help a woman manage itchy skin during menopause, they alone are unable to get to the root cause, which is hormonal imbalance and is one of the common signs of menopause. Fortunately, natural supplements can address this primary problem of hormonal imbalance, helping resolve itchy skin from the inside out. Alternative treatments involve little or no risk and are often simple to use. One alternative is to use a natural balancing cream. An excellent natural balancing cream can be found at IH Distribution LLC.