Menopause and itchy skin

Written by cindi pearce
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Menopause and itchy skin
Just when you thought things couldn't get any worse ... (abdone/iStock/Getty Images)

Itchy skin is part of the menopause package. Yes, you're already coping with night sweats, hot flushes, joint pain, insomnia and foggy brain -- and now you get to scratch that itch.

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Hydrate

Itchiness during menopause is caused primarily by lack of hydration, so you must moisturise your skin regularly. Use castor oil on your skin and mix it with lavender or peppermint scent so that it smells good. More conventional forms of moisturiser that contain alpha hydroxy, and vitamins E and A are good for itchy skin. Keep your body hydrated from the inside out by drinking lots of water throughout the day. When your skin is not getting the moisture it needs, it dries out and sloughs off and itches. You can get alpha-hydroxy into your system by eating pineapples, apples, tomatoes, grapes and blackberries.

Pruritus and paresthesia

When a woman is plagued by pruritus (itchy skin), this can be very disruptive. Another condition, called paresthesia, sometimes afflicts menopausal women. When paresthesia strikes, a woman experiences sensations of tingling, pricking of the skin, as well as a pins-and-needles feeling or numbness. Some of these women actually experience formication, which is a very specific type of paresthesia that is characterised by a creepy, crawly sensation. It's a phantom sensation of insects crawling on the skin.

Vaginal itching

Itchy, menopausal skin may occur in the vagina. This is the result of loss of oestrogen, which makes the tissue in the vagina shrink, dry up and then itch. You can put some vitamin E, aloe vera or even castor oil, combined with a few drops of peppermint, on your vaginal area to relieve itching.

Tips

Stop smoking. Smoking dries out your skin, which can lead to itching. Nicotine restricts blood vessels which, in turn, make your skin itchy and dry. Some foods may be causing your itch. These foods may include gluten or dairy products. Eliminate them from your diet and see if this helps.

Vitamin B

Foods that contain vitamin B may relieve your itching. Consider eating mushrooms, cooked cabbage, tuna, spinach, salmon, sunflower seeds, soy milk, whole-grain oats, green peas, mackerel, sesame seeds and walnuts.

Calcium

Don't forget the calcium. Eat foods that are calcium-rich, including figs, oats, almonds, asparagus, and milk, which may relieve your itching.

Other likelihoods

In addition to itchiness, menopausal women may experience pigment changes, thinning skin, wrinkles and acne.

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