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Dry Skin- One of the Unexpected Effects of Menopause

Itchy skin is embarrassing as it practically drives you berserk when you have to keep on scratching yourself. While itchy skin is something anyone can suffer from, women are more prone to it as menopause makes your skin dry.

To make things worse, the dry skin leads to wrinkles and if left untreated, grows thin and loses elasticity to give you sagging skin. So instead of going through all this in menopause, there are some things you can do to treat menopausal skin changes.

Reasons for menopausal skin changes

A woman’s body stops releasing eggs while entering menopause. This leads to the end of periods, and consequent reduction in the production of estrogen in the body. While estrogen is a powerhouse hormone which stimulates maturation in a girl’s body during puberty, it also keeps her bones strong and stimulates the formation of skin-smoothening collagen and oils.

So as estrogen production reduces with the approach of menopause, you find your skin growing dry and itchy. Besides slowing down the body’s oil production, the reduction of estrogen also reduces your body’s ability to retain moisture.
Though the first signs of dry skin you may notice are a parched T-zone or flaky elbows, you may find dry skin anywhere from your oil-gland dense face, chest, back to legs, elbows, genitals and even nails.

While these skin changes are permanent, it’s possible to reduce the itching sensation and fight dry skin with the following tips.

• Eat more of good fats like essential fatty acids- omega-3s found in walnuts, flaxseed oil, soya, safflower and salmon as they help produce your skin’s oil barrier, needed to keep your skin hydrated. Diets without these fats can lead to dry, inflamed and itchy skin.

• Avoid taking hot, steamy showers. Though you may like it, hot water is harsh on your skin and dries it out. So switch to taking shorter showers, preferably with warm water. You can also preserve your skin’s natural oils by using soap only on spots you really need it like the groin, underarms and feet. You may as well skip using soap on your legs, arms and back and use only a warm-water wash as these areas don’t get that dirty.

• Applying a broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF of 15 or higher helps keep your skin healthy. While some healthy sun exposure is important for producing vitamin D, too much of sun can lead to not only dry skin but also wrinkles, moles and skin cancers. Sunscreen is also necessary on overcast days as skin damaging UV light can penetrate fog, clouds and even snow.

Now you know that dry skin is one of the effects of menopause, you can avoid it by following the old adage of prevention is better than cure and start moisturizing your skin on a regular basis!