The dry and itchy skin are a common problem during menopause. Hormonal changes during menopause can cause a number of skin conditions, including hot flashes, sweating, and itching.
Skin problems due to deficiencies during menopause
This is due to the vital role estrogen plays in skin health, which decreases during menopause.
Estrogen plays a very important role in skin health. Specifically, they help the skin retain its moisture and stimulate the production of natural oils and collagen. Collagen is a protein that maintains the strength and elasticity of the skin.
The decrease in natural oils and collagen can cause dryness and thinning of the skin during menopause, which can cause itchiness that can be seen on the body, face or genitals.
As the skin becomes drier and less elastic during menopause, you may notice increased sensitivity to products like soaps and detergents, which can irritate the skin and cause inflammation and itchiness.
Some women experience tingling, burning or numbness of the skin. The intensity of itching can range from mild to severe. In more severe cases, itching can cause great discomfort in daily life and even disrupted sleep at night.
Other changes you may notice in your skin are:
- scars on the skin
If your skin is visibly irritated to rule out other forms of skin irritation, such as bacterial infections or fungal infections, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice.
Decreased estrogen levels can also cause vaginal drynessa common symptom during menopause, which in turn can cause itchy genitals.
Low estrogen levels can make vaginal tissues drier and thinner than usual. When this happens, then we say we have atrial atrophy or atrophic vaginitis, which can cause itching and pain in the vagina or vulva.
If you notice any vaginal discharge or vaginal bleeding after menopause, you should contact your doctor.
How to take care of your skin to relieve itching
The moisturizing can relieve dry and irritated skin and reduce itchiness. Make daily skin care a priority, while making specific changes to your diet and lifestyle.
Use cold compresses
Applying a cool, wet washcloth to itchy areas can help relieve irritation. Covering the area with a damp towel at night can be especially helpful if the itchiness bothers you while you sleep.
Use special cleaning products
Opt for cleansers with natural ingredients like oatmeal and avoid using hot water, as hot baths can make itching worse.
Moisturize your skin regularly
Moisturizing your skin after a bath or shower can help retain moisture in the outer layer of your skin. This helps relieve dryness and itchiness.
Choose a fragrance-free moisturizer, suitable for dry and sensitive skin. Natural moisturizers, like aloe vera gel or coconut oil, are known for their soothing properties.
In some cases, itchiness can persist despite the care and diligence you show to your skin. In these cases and depending on the severity of the problem, you may need to use some medication.
Treatment options include anti-inflammatory steroid ointments and limited-time local anesthetic creams, antihistamines, hormone replacement therapy, and phytoestrogens. In any case, You should consult your doctor about the type of treatment that is appropriate for you.
Avoid using hot water to bathe
Avoid hot baths or showers and use lukewarm water especially when your skin is irritated. Don’t rub your skin with a towel after bathing.
Rubbing the skin after a bath or shower can further irritate it. Wrap your body lightly in a soft, clean towel to prevent further irritation.
Although it’s tempting, scratching your skin can tear and damage your skin, especially if it’s already sensitive or inflamed.
Use fragrance-free toiletries
Scented soaps and fragrances contain chemicals that can further irritate the skin. Commercially available fragrance-free soaps and cleansers for people with “dry and sensitive skin” are a safer option.
Reduce the consumption of alcohol and nicotine
These substances aggravate dry skin and can cause premature skin aging. In addition to the negative consequences on health in general, especially in the stage of menopause.
Wear soft, loose clothing
Cotton and loose clothing are less likely to irritate the skin than wool or synthetic fibers. Especially when wearing tight clothing and close to the skin.
Avoid strong sunlight
The sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays can further irritate itchy, dry or sensitive skin. Use a high protection sunscreen suitable for sensitive skin.