Dry skin & menopause

Written by barbara bryant
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Menopause triggers dry skin in many women but there are dietary, hygiene and, if necessary, medical steps that can be taken to retain or restore skin moisture and elasticity.

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The Problem

Menopause, which most women begin to undergo in their early-to-mid 50s, can cause a number of physical side effects, which includes dry skin. This occurs because production of oestrogen, which triggers the formation of collagen and elastin substances that keep skin smooth and flexible, declines.

Hygiene

Women can take many simple steps to moisturise and nourish their skin. These include:

  • taking short, warm---not hot---baths or showers, to retain natural skin oils.
  • avoiding deodorant soaps.
  • patting, not rubbing, skin dry.
  • applying moisturiser after bathing and throughout the day.
  • using humidifiers.
  • avoiding scratchy clothing, such as wool.
  • wearing gloves in winter.
  • applying sun screen and lip balm daily.

Vitamins

The New Zealand Dermatological Society points out that creams containing retinoids, a derivative of vitamin A are often used to soften skin on the face, neck and the backs of hands. One example is retinol, an ingredient in many brand name face creams.

Researchers at the University of Leicester learnt that a form of vitamin C promotes skin growth and repairs damaged DNA in skin cells.

Fats

Extremely low-fat diets can dry the hair and skin, both of which rely on essential oils to stay supple and elastic.

Medical Treatment

Various types of cosmetic surgery exist to counteract the wrinkles and slackness that dry skin can cause. They range from the injection of fillers and botulinum toxin ("botox"), to facelifts, to dermabrasion and chemical peeling.

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