Dry Itchy Skin in the Menopause: A Thorny Issue
Dry, itchy skin during the menopause is a common symptom that can be caused by the change in hormones. Luckily there are a number of ways in which we can work with our skin, to alleviate the discomfort as quickly as possible.
Why do we get dry, itchy skin during the menopause?
The hormonal changes that we experience during the menopause mean that our oestrogen levels fluctuate and fall. Oestrogen is directly related to the production of collagen, which is essential for building strength and elasticity in the skin. Oestrogen is also related to the production of natural oils that lock moisture into the skin. The lowered production of both collagen and natural oils can cause skin irritations and we may not be able to resist scratching.
Why does my skin feel so dry and itchy?
Dry, itchy skin can feel seemingly uncontrollable, emotionally irritating and physically invasive because it can affect many parts of our body including the skin on our face, limbs, neck, chest, back, and elbows. The feeling is comparable to the light sensation of tiny insects crawling on our skin and if we respond with scratching, particularly the same area repeatedly, it can turn into flaky skin, skin rashes and even bleeding.
What can help relieve dry, itchy skin?
There are so many lifestyle changes to aid the discomfort of dry, itchy skin and even subside symptoms. If your skin becomes chronically irritated by dryness and itchiness, it is best to consult your doctor or a skin dermatologist. If you’re worried, it may be wise to organise a blood test to investigate your liver and kidney function. It’s important for you to know that when you enter into postmenopause, your dry, itchy skin symptom will ease off.
Popular remedies for dry, itchy skin
- Make sure to drink lots of water to keep skin hydrated each day
- Moisturise skin well using a high-quality product such as coconut oil
- Apply aloe vera topically to calm itchiness
- Enjoy a plant-based diet, rich in foods essential for healthy skin
- Include lots of Vitamin-C-rich foods such as kiwi, peppers, lemons and oranges
- Try oatmeal baths made with colloidal oatmeal to soothe the skin
- Use very gentle, natural cosmetics and toiletries
- Avoid scratching
- Get an adequate amount of sleep per night
- Limit alcohol as that is very drying for the skin
- Reduce stress whenever possible, using mindfulness
- Avoid smoking and secondary smoke
- Get regular exercise to stimulate blood to the skin to deliver oxygen and nutrients
- Aloe vera gel or calamine lotion may also be used to treat skin discomfort.
- Consider herbal supplements such as dong quai
- Try an anti-itch cream
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