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Psoriasis & menopause

Updated July 19, 2017

Menopause itself does not cause psoriasis. However, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, hormonal changes, such as those that occur during menopause, can cause psoriasis to flare or even appear for the first time.

Menopause

Brigham and Women's Hospital defines menopause as the cessation of menstruation, which occurs because a woman's body produces fewer eggs and oestrogen over time.

Psoriasis

An autoimmune disease that manifests as inflamed areas on the skin, psoriasis can first appear at any time in your life. However two peak periods commonly mark psoriasis outbreaks. The first occurs at puberty (typically between 16 and 22 years), and the second occurs at menopause (typically between 51 and 60 years).

Relationship

Hormonal shifts can trigger psoriasis. During puberty and menopause, your body has a drop in oestrogen. This drop can cause a flare in psoriasis or for psoriasis to appear for the first time. A study done at the University of California in 2005 demonstrated the link between psoriasis and hormonal changes by identifying a significant correlation between high levels of oestrogen during pregnancy and reduction of psoriasis symptoms.

Diagnosis

A doctor diagnoses psoriasis by taking a medical history and observing symptoms. Occasionally she may perform a small skin biopsy.

Treatment

Treatment of psoriasis remains the same regardless of the cause: light therapy or topical, oral, or injected medications.

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About the Author

Susan Roberts has more than 15 years of marketing, business and technical writing experience. Her business writing has appeared in online trade publications such as TechWeb and ComputerWorld. In 2009 she began publishing online articles in categories including healthy living, family and food and wine. Roberts has a Bachelor of Arts in technical writing/mass communication from Texas Tech University.