The skin of the whole body can become drier, less protected and more exposed to skin disorders, both on the body and on the mucous membranes. Here’s what happens.
All information contained in this article was written in collaboration with our staff of doctors and specialists
The hormonal balances that change physiologically with the arrival of menopause can change the skin . Like all organs, even the skin can suffer from a lack of hormones (in particular estrogen) and, in this specific case, become drier, thinner, more fragile. In a word: less protected .
A condition that can put you at greater risk of skin disorders and allergic reactions . These problems, which can affect both the body and the mucous membranes, can also be linked to the fact that your immune system can change in menopause and therefore stimulate the response of your defenses more.
In this post we will talk about:
- Skin in menopause can become drier and more fragile
- Because in menopause, the immune system can change
- What are the most frequent skin disorders and allergies in menopause?
- When the cause of dermatitis is Candida
- Contact inflammation and allergies on the mucous membranes
- When the cause of inflammation is Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy
Skin in menopause can become drier and more fragile
With the passing of age, a certain decrease in hydration is physiological. In fact, year after year, the skin loses collagen (1% every year from the age of 30) , a substance that plays a fundamental role in keeping it toned and hydrated. This loss becomes more consistent in the first two years after menopause. This is why skin can become drier, thinner and lose its natural elasticity in menopause . You certainly needed to supplement your beauty routine with more moisturizing and nourishing creams .
Even before resorting to creams, however, in menopause it is essential to hydrate from the inside by drinking plenty of water . Remember: in addition to being a friend of your beauty because it keeps the skin elastic and radiant, water is also the best ally of a healthy and efficient body because it helps the proper functioning of all organs.
Because in menopause, the immune system can change
There is no longer any scientific doubt that estrogen deficiency (completely natural in menopause) and the immune system are closely linked. For this reason, the new hormonal structure that emerges with the definitive cessation of menstruation could stimulate the body’s immune response to bacteria and viruses more and, consequently, increase the risk of developing allergies and dermatitis .
In addition to this possibility, two other aspects should be considered that could play a role in the increased tendency to develop skin problems:
- the efficiency of the immune system tends to physiologically decrease with age
- Stress can affect the decline in immune defenses and for some women menopause and stress can have a very strong link
To clear the field of misunderstandings, we make a clarification: the fact that the immune system may be more “sensitive” as a result of lower estrogen levels, however, does not mean that in menopause you have less immune defenses and therefore you can get sick more . If you want to know more about the link between menopause and the immune system, this is our dedicated article .
What are the most frequent skin disorders and allergies in menopause?
Dry skin almost always goes hand in hand with fragility : dry skin can have a tendency to flake and get easily irritated, especially on the hands, which are more exposed to the action of frequent washing which eliminates the protective surface lipid layer.
This condition can favor the triggering of skin and mucous membrane reactions such as:
- Irritation: Dryness can make the skin thin and fragile, making it easily irritable. The irritations, in turn, can cause itching and burning . These nuisances, if mild, can be reduced by using mild, oil-based, soap-free cleansers and good moisturizers. In the most severe cases, however, it is essential to contact the dermatologist.
- Skin rash: it is a “response” of the skin to irritants or allergic substances (also as a consequence of taking drugs) which manifests itself with rashes, swelling and redness. Even a simple insect bite can cause such a phenomenon on delicate skin. Skin rashes usually require the use of specific treatments, so it is imperative to consult a specialist first.
- Dermatitis: dryness and thinning, which as we have said may be typical of a skin that is affected by the reduced production of hormones, can create a favorable “base” also for contact dermatitis, atopic and urticaria. The triggering factors of these skin reactions can also be nervousness and irritability , not infrequently characteristic features of menopause.
When the cause of dermatitis is Candida
Skin dermatitis can also be triggered by Candida , an infection caused by a fungus naturally present in the body. For different factors, this from silent can become aggressive and cause skin reactions in different parts of the body, including on the vaginal mucosa and in the mouth (canker sores or stomatitis).
Contact inflammation and allergies on the mucous membranes
The drop in estrogen is also responsible for the dryness and fragility of the vaginal mucosa, whose natural lubrication is reduced . Drier and less elastic, these are also more exposed to the risk of micro-abrasions and therefore of irritation, itching and burning .
Among the causes of these irritations there may also be contact sensitization , for example if you often use synthetic clothing that prevents perspiration, latex, or from soaps if you use too aggressive perfumes or intimate cleansers .
This condition can lead to a variety of daily discomforts that can negatively impact quality of life and cause pain during intercourse. It is always a good idea to consult the gynecologist promptly: these problems, in fact, tend not to resolve themselves and, if not treated properly, they could worsen over time.
When the cause of inflammation is Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy
Even l ‘ Atrophy vulvo Vaginal , a very common condition in postmenopausal women (affects 1 out of 2) which causes a thinning of the vulvar and vaginal tissue and manifests itself with:
- intimate itching
- vaginal dryness
- pain in intercourse
However, these disorders should not be mistaken for an irritation or an allergic manifestation. More generally, when you have an intimate discomfort, avoid adopting do-it-yourself solutions or trying palliative treatments which could even make it worse. Consult your gynecologist and simply tell about your ailments , he will guide you towards an appropriate treatment.