When going through menopause, your body is already going through a lot. Between hot flashes, vaginal dryness, mood swings, and night sweats, the last thing you need is an onset of dry skin. In this post, we’ll discuss the relationship between menopause and eczema, providing some helpful tips on how to effectively deal with the changes in your body.
Please keep in mind that although what we discuss in this post can relieve eczema, we are in no way medical professionals. If you’re experiencing severe eczema symptoms like an infection, it is best to seek medical advice immediately.
What Happens During Menopause?
Affecting women between the ages of 40 and 58, menopause slows the production of estrogen which means the ovaries stop producing eggs. This is what causes periods to become erratic and eventually stop. The decrease in the levels of estrogen is what’s contributing to some of the bodily changes mentioned above.
Estrogen and the Body
Estrogen is an important hormone that does far more than dictate menstrual cycles. It’s what stimulates the maturation of the female body at puberty, what keeps a woman’s bones strong – and what helps keep the skin young and healthy looking. It does this by stimulating the production of collagen and oil which are substances that help keep skin smooth. With the reduction in estrogen levels and the shifting hormones in the body, the skin’s ability to retain moisture is reduced. This is why itchy, dry skin is common during menopause.
The changes in estrogen levels combined with the changing ratio of hormones during menopause leave the skin more vulnerable to redness, bumps, and irritation. Diminished levels of estrogen can also cause the skin to be more itchy or sensitive to irritating substances like fabrics, perfumes, and dyes.
Furthermore, the skin is unable to heal as quickly as it used to and is more prone to experiencing flare-ups or irritating rashes. So while menopause does not directly cause eczema, it can certainly contribute to further drying out the skin and worsening your condition.
Tips for Dealing with Menopause and Eczema
To help you treat dry skin and keep it looking smooth and fresh, here are some tips for dealing with menopause eczema:
Avoid Hot Water–Who doesn’t love a hot bath or shower? Unfortunately, as relaxing as they can be, hot showers or baths don’t go well with dry skin. Known to be harsh on the skin, hot water actually further dries on the skin and strips it of its natural, protective oils. We recommend taking shorter showers or baths using warm water instead of hot. If you still want to create a gentle, soothing experience, consider taking a relaxing bath with this Conqueror Oatmeal Bath for Eczema. Free of parabens, phthalates, artificial fragrances, dyes, petrochemicals, and mineral oils, this detoxifying soak helps fight skin sensitivity and diminishes visible redness.
Use a Gentle Soap–Soaps containing harsh chemicals and toxins have a tendency to dry out the skin or ignite a bad reaction. That’s why we love this Grass Fed Tallow Soap. Made with lye, water and grass fed tallow, it’s great for moisturizing and nourishing sensitive skin without exacerbating symptoms.
Don’t Forget to Moisturize–Help your skin fight the dryness associated with menopause by moisturizing daily. We recommend this Organic Calendula Salve. Full of vitamins, antioxidants, essential fatty acids, plant compounds and natural enzymes, this soothing salve helps hydrate dry, cracked or sensitive skin. Don’t forget to reapply the moisturizer after washing and before going to bed, especially because dry skin tends to get itchier at night!
Switch Up Your Diet–Certain foods can help produce the skin’s oil barrier which in turn, helps keep the skin hydrated. Essential fatty acids, in particular, are helpful in boosting body oil and fighting against dryness and itchiness. For a diet high in omega-3s, increase your intake of foods such as salmon, fortified eggs, algae oils, flax, sardines, safflower oil, and walnuts.
Bio: Laura is a contributor and content developer for The Eczema Company. She is in no way a medical professional. Her comments, suggestions, and reflections are not intended to replace any medical advice. Always seek the help of a medical professional before undertaking any diet or lifestyle changes