Menopause and its effects on skin and hair.

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Menopause, as the name suggests, is the suspension of woman hormones for good. These days women attain menopause by the time they are 45, if not earlier. This is all thanks to the lifestyle, stress, food habits, pollution, and hormones in our daily lives.

What happens during menopause to your skin and hair?

The onslaught of menopause leads to low oestrogen levels, causing:

  • Excessive drying of skin hydration and mucous membrane. So you get flaky, dry, sensitive and itchy skin, dry lips and vagina, dry nails with longitudinal ridges.
  • Decreased collagen synthesis and increased destruction of its structure, leading to accelerated skin ageing.
  • Decreased cell turnover and sloughing making the skin look dull and darker.
  • Alteration in thermoregulation—hot flushes, redness on your face, or exacerbation of conditions like acne or rosacea.
  • Melasma—pigmentation on your cheeks, forehead, nose, and upper lip.
  • Unopposed action of male hormones—excessive hair on the chin, hair thinning, or hair fall.
  • Fat resorption from the face—sagging of the soft tissue.
  • Decreased calcium absorption, bone resorption, causes structural collapse of the face.

How to deal with this?

If you have been taking good care of your skin, by the time you hit 35, your skin will not go through major lows. You can up your moisturizer though and buy creams with special anti-ageing actives. You have to take special care of your skin with gentle treatment products. Since the body metabolism slows down, some stretching exercises to deal with spot weight gain can also help. You also need to workout to keep your joints and bones healthy. You can seek professional help to reduce fine lines, and moisturize your skin. You could just be suffering from iron deficiency. Even if you are not anaemic and your haemoglobin is within normal limits, the elemental iron could be low. Check your serum ferritin and B12; Ferritin should be between 80 and 100. The cause for dark circles and hair fall could just be this and it is treatable.

Hair woes

Thinning hair and hair fall is another problem that crops up as you hit menopause. Many of my patients come to me not for skin but hair woes. As you grow older, your hair starts to get dry and scanty. The texture gets fine and becomes more susceptible to breakage and of course it goes grey. None of that is complementary to our looks. You can definitely start colouring your hair. Look for an ammonia-free colour which is much more gentle on the strands. Go easy on the blow dry. Avoid heavy-duty irons and dryers at the salon. Oiling your hair, especially a good scalp massage, is a good thing to being with if you have not been doing so. Do not forget take your daily supplements.

At Ra we have various treatments and supplements to reduce the effect of menopause. Dr Rashmi Shetty says “It’s very important to keep your skin moisturised and hydrated to reduce the effects of menopause. One can use the right night cream which nourishes, hydrates and has properties which will rejuvenate your skin.

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