During perimenopause (the period leading up to menopause in which monthly periods stop), a woman's oestrogen levels drop significantly. This can lead to a number of symptoms, including dry, thin skin that bruises easily.
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Dropping oestrogen levels from ages 40 to 55 cause the body to produce less collagen, the compound that promotes skin strength and elasticity. According to dermatologist Jessica Wu, M.D., during perimenopause, collagen levels can drop nearly 30 per cent. Thin skin that bruises easily is often the result.
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These low collagen levels lead to decreasing skin elasticity. When skin is less elastic, the slightest blow to the skin can cause a bruise. It also becomes dry and thin, since the sebaceous glands are producing less oil.
Decrease in the female hormone oestrogen and increase in androgen (the male hormone) causes thinning hair and more facial hair. The subcutaneous fat levels in the skin also decrease, making wrinkles more likely to appear.
The same causes for easy bruising also causes thinning of the vaginal lining, which can lead to irritation and painful intercourse. Lubrication decreases, which can lead to pain in this area.
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Several treatments have been shown to be helpful to prevent easy bruising. Christiane Northrup, M.D., recommends supplements of Vitamin C and E, which promote skin health and strength. Dr. Wu prescribes remedies such as arnica Montana (wolfsbane) and the enzyme bromelain, both regularly found in healing ointment.