Itchy Skin
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Itchy Skin

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Sore back: skin problems during menopause are closely linked with hormonal changes

While most women are familiar with the common menopausal symptoms, such as hot flashes, many are unaware of menopausal effects on the skin. Itchy skin is experience by many women during the menopausal transition. Skin problems during menopause are closely linked with hormonal changes characteristic of this natural period of change.

Skin changes can begin as early as perimenopause, or the time leading up to the cessation of menstrual periods, which can range from 3 to 10 years. Other women may experience skin changes after menopause.

Women who begin to experience dry or itchy skin during menopause are smart to take the time to learn more about this symptom, its causes, and its treatment. Please read on to learn more about itchy skin during menopause.

About Itchy Skin during Menopause

Menopause can often trigger skin changes leading to itchy skin. Itchy skin, medically known as pruritus, can be a major life disruption, especially if it causes significant discomfort and disrupts sleep.

Did You Know?

During the stage of menopause, many women also experience acne, thinning skin, wrinkles, and skin pigment changes.

Related to pruritus, paresthesia can also afflict women during the menopausal transition. An abnormal skin condition affecting touch sensation, paresthesia is defined as sensations of numbness, “pins and needles”, tingling, and pricking of the skin.

A small percentage of menopausal women report itchy skin symptoms of formication, a specific type of paresthesia, characterized by creepy, crawling sensations on the skin. People with formication have the phantom sensation of ants or other insects crawling on their skin.

Please read on to discover more about the symptoms of itchy skin during menopause.

Itchy Skin Rash

Though not always the first symptom people associate with menopause, itchy skin is a common complaint of menopausal women. This is because the diminishing estrogen interferes with the skin's ability to produce collagen. Some tips for overcoming itchy skin rashes during menopause are eat more essential fatty acids, always use sunscreen, and avoid hot showers.

Symptoms of Itchy Skin

Symptoms of Itchy Skin

Women who develop itchy skin during menopause can experience symptoms in different ways. Many women report that the elbows and the T-zone of the face are the first places where itchy skin develops. Other women report that certain areas of the skin are particularly dry and itchy, such as the limbs, chest, neck, or the back. Even the nails can be affected by itchy skin during menopause.

In addition to the chief symptom of itchiness, skin changes in menopause can also produce the following symptoms:

Small bumps on the skin surface

Red or irritated skin

Skin rash

Dry skin

Abnormal touch sensations, such as numbness, tingling, prickling, and crawling, etc.

Now that the possible symptoms of itchy skin have been covered, the next step is to explore the connection between itchy skin and hormones during menopause. Please read on to learn about the causes of itchy skin.

Is Itching a Symptom of Menopause?

Itchy skin is a common symptom of menopause. Changes in hormone levels interfere with the production of collagen, an agent that supports skin, and also in the skin's ability to produce moisturizing oils. Itchy skin can be treated with a good moisturizer or balm. One can also seek to correct the hormonal imbalance through diet and lifestyle changes.

Causes of Itchy Skin

Hormonal causes

Acne and Menopause

Some women develop acne during menopause, especially those who had acne in adolescence. Increases in androgen levels during menopause are thought to increase the risk of acne during menopause.

Adult acne often affects the lower face and rarely responds to teen acne treatments.

During menopause, the most common underlying cause of itchy skin is hormonal change. As the body prepares for the cessation of menstruation and egg development during perimenopause, levels of estrogen in the body also fluctuate and eventually begin a steady decline.

Estrogen plays an important role in maintaining healthy skin. For example, estrogen is responsible for stimulating the production of skin collagen, a fibrous protein that provides strength, resilience, and support to the skin and other tissues.

As estrogen production diminishes around the time of menopause, dry itchy skin becomes a very common symptom. The decline in skin thickness and collagen production appears to be most rapid in the years immediately preceding menopause.

Lowered estrogen levels also decrease the body's ability to retain moisture and slow down the body's production of natural skin oils, which also contributes to itchy skin.

Other rare causes of itchy skin

Medical Causes of Itchy Skin

Hypothyroidism

Fungal infection

Diabetes

Skin cancer

Vitamin deficiencies

Herpes

Drug side effects

Drug abuse or withdrawal

While hormonal changes are the most common cause of itchy skin around the time of menopause, other medical conditions can be responsible for itchy skin. While these are rare causes, they are important to be aware of, particularly in cases where itchy skin is accompanied by other unexplained symptoms.

Women concerned about the causes of itchy skin and those who experience other worrisome symptoms are advised to speak with a qualified dermatologist or other medical professional. Fortunately, itchy skin in menopause can often be successfully managed with self-care and natural treatments. Please read on to learn more about the treatment of itchy skin.

5 Common Causes of Itchy Skin in Menopausal Women

Itchy skin is a common complaint among menopausal women, and is primarily caused by the drop in estrogen. It is important to avoid hot showers and excessive stress in order to prevent itchy skin. Wearing sunscreen and consuming more fatty acids can help protect the skin and boost its natural oil production.

6 Habits that Trigger Itchy Skin on Neck

Itchy skin is uncomfortable once, but it quickly becomes a distraction after repeated offenses. Discovering the triggers that lay behind the problem can help to find the right solutions for relief: read on to learn about six habits that can cause itchy skin on the neck to get inspired today.

Itchy Skin Treatments

Treating itchy skin during menopause often requires a number of self-care techniques. Most doctors advise against invasive and risky medical or hormonal treatments for itchy skin during menopause. However, many experts recommend that women combine lifestyle changes with alternative medicine, which are often safe and effective in providing itchy skin relief.

Self-Care for Itchy Skin

Treatments for Itchy Skin

Good diet. Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids found in foods such as salmon, walnuts, fortified eggs, sardines, flaxseed, and soy. Adequate vitamin B intake is also crucial to skin health.

Increase water intake. This will help to hydrate the skin from the inside out.

Avoid hot showers. Because hot water can be harsh and drying, experts advise taking shorter showers using warm water.

Moisturize after showers. Mineral oil and petroleum jelly are both excellent and inexpensive skin moisturizers.

Use gentle, non-irritating soaps.

Use a quality, broad-spectrum sunscreen.

Avoid other triggers. Avoiding cigarettes, excess sun exposure, stress, and poor sleep patterns can also help to manage itchy skin.

Alternative treatments for itchy skin

While these self-care measures can help a woman manage itchy skin during menopause, they alone are unable to get to the root cause of itchy skin during menopause: hormonal imbalance. Fortunately, natural supplements can address this primary problem of hormonal imbalance, helping a woman to treat itchy skin from the inside out. Alternative treatments involve little or no risk and are often simple to use.

Click on the following link to learn specific treatments for itchy skin, which begin with lifestyle changes, move onto alternative medicine, and finally, if those options don't seem to help, medications and surgery. The most effective treatments typically combine lifestyle changes and alternative medicine.

How to Deal with Itchy Skin at Work

Itchy skin can be caused by a number of things, such as hormone imbalance, hot showers, and stress. Subsequently, there are numerous things you can do at work to deal with itchy skin. Drinking water and using natural moisturizers, like coconut oil, can help soothe itchy skin.

6 Natural Moisturizer Alternatives to Relieve Itchy Skin

Chronically itchy skin is always uncomfortable and often frustrating, but there are many treatment options available today that are healthy and natural as well as inexpensive. Read on to discover six moisturizer alternatives that will have you wondering why you ever bothered with commercial brands.

Sources:
  • Hutchinson, Susan M.D. “The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause.” November 2007.
  • Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
  • BMJ Group. “Menopause: What is it?” Patient Leaflet. 2007
Updated June 6th, 2016
Redness and Itchy Skin: Should I Be Worried? Redness and itchy skin could indicate an allergic reaction, or be a result of harsh weather, irritating soaps, and hormone fluctuations. Fortunately, there are several natural remedies that are easy to do that can help soothe and prevent redness and itchy skin. These remedies include moisturizing often, eating essential fatty acids, and staying hydrated.
Updated May 9th, 2016
10 Home Tips to Combat Itchy Skin Itchy skin can be caused by things like hot showers and stress. There are several home remedies that can help soothe itchy skin. Using natural moisturizes like oatmeal and coconut oil can be very useful. Wearing gloves, staying hydrated, and reducing stress are also helpful.
Updated on March 9th, 2016
Creams and Oils for Itchy Skin Itchy skin can be caused by stress, harsh winter weather, and dehydration. There are several natural creams and oils that can help soothe itchy skin. Most of these creams and oils are fairly inexpensive and readily available at health food stores, and they include lavender oil, oatmeal, and coconut oil.
Updated on January 28th, 2016
Top 7 Habits to Prevent Itchy Skin on Neck Itchy skin on the neck can be caused by several things, like harsh weather, irritating soaps, and hormone fluctuations. Fortunately, there are several healthy habits that are easy to do that can prevent itchy skin. These habits include moisturizing often, eating essential fatty acids, and staying hydrated.
Updated on November 13rd, 2015
Dry and Itchy Skin on the Face during Menopause As a lesser known symptom of menopause, dry, itchy skin often takes women by surprise. Here we explain why it happens and the permanent changes you can make to keep your skin looking smooth, hydrated, and soft without the constant irritation. It's nothing a good moisturizer and a few lifestyle changes can't help!