Why is my skin so dry: can menopause cause dry skin?

Itchy, saggy, dry skin - those are the top 3 skin situations on your menopausal changes list. And dryness is also the most uncomfortable one so, good question. The skin’s inability to keep the water in seems to have a great responsibility in all this.

Having menopausal dry skin is very frequent

Dryness is one of the major clinical changes during facial skin ageing in post-menopausal women. Of all mature women’s dermatological conditions, dry skin is one of the most common skin conditions.

A recent survey of 3,875 post-menopausal women over 40 showed that 36.2% suffered from dry skin.

Dry skin is caused by decreased levels of estrogen and progesterone. In your 50s, the pH level of the skin changes as well as the ability to hold water, metabolism slows down and skin becomes drier, dull, less firm and less smooth. Altogether less friendly, that’s for sure … 

There are various symptoms of a menopausal dry skin

Skin changes during menopause and symptoms include:

  • tight skin after showering or swimming
  • Peeling or flaky skin
  • cracks on hands and feet
  • itchy skin
  • you can notice gray or ashy tones on your skin if you have a darker skin tone

What happens is that the renewal of the keratinocytes (cells constituting 90% of the surface layer of the skin) slows down and causes accumulation of aged cells on the epidermal surface. The lipid barrier is thus less well organized, causing skin to lose its resistance.

In addition (last one for this article, we promise), hyaluronic acid becomes highly sensitive to degradation by a special enzyme called hyaluronidase and this causes progressive worsening of hydration and skin firmness.

The lipid barrier is less well organized, thus the dryness

Key elements to remember about menopausal dry skin  

Dry skin is due to the lack of hydration provoked by decreased level of estrogen. When its balance is disturbed, your skin isn’t able to function properly and has, is this particular case, trouble holding the water within. 

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