‘Common’ skin concern may be menopause ‘side effect’, claims expert

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Signs of ageing are the primary skin concern for most mature women but some may experience more extreme changes in later life.

While diet, skincare and lifestyle habits are the first things that come to mind when dealing with a problematic complexion, an NHS surgical and aesthetic doctor claimed that hormones could be to blame.

Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Dr Deepa Panch said: “The menopause can affect the skin in a multitude of ways. Declining levels of oestrogen can affect the skin’s ability to hold water, therefore the skin becomes drier and more sensitive.

“Studies have also shown a sharp drop in collagen levels in the first few years of menopause.

“Collagen is a key protein that gives our skin structural support and keeps it from sagging so this is a common sign during menopause.”

She continued: “With this, the skin becomes more fragile and prone to bruising and can take longer to heal.

“Other signs include the development of acne or hirsutism (excess hair) on the face due to the hormonal imbalances that occur.”

As menopause nears, the ovaries make less of the hormone known as oestrogen which can cause the menstrual cycle to change, and eventually stop.

This is when physical changes, such as acne, can happen as the body adapts to different levels of hormones.

Falling estrogen levels may increase the risk of acne around menopause, but it’s not the only factor.

Dr Alexis Missick an experienced GP who works with UK Meds, told Express.co.uk: “When someone is undergoing hormone replacement therapy they may experience acne as a side effect.

“Hormonal fluctuations will lead to increased sebum production which can clog pores and develop acne. The sebaceous glands are extremely sensitive to hormones, especially androgens (like testosterone).”

Unlike acne caused by lifestyle and diet habits, hormonal triggers are more difficult to treat. Dr Alexis explained: “Because acne is linked so closely to the hormones in your body, there is no way to cure it in its entirety (in the way that you can with a bacterial infection, for example).

She added: “There is no ‘miracle’ treatment, but there are plenty of ways that you can successfully manage the levels of androgens in your body and reduce the number of breakouts.”

Topical remedies that are applied to the skin come in many forms, though the GP recommended three specific formulas; Tretinoin, Acnecide gel and Treclin gel.

Each contains active ingredients that speed up the turnover of skin cells, and Treclin harnesses the power of antibiotics to prevent bacteria from multiplying.

Other remedies used to treat adult acne include laser treatment for mild to moderate cases, prescribed tablets, and some skincare ingredients like retinol niacinamide and hyaluronic acid.

Before attempting to self-treat or diagnose skin conditions, however, it is important to seek professional advice from a qualified professional.

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