August 7, 2023

Dry and Itchy Skin from Perimenopause

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Written by Clare Widzgowski

Photo by Juan Pablo Serrano Arenas

What Causes Itchy Skin During Perimenopause?

There are many symptoms associated with menopause. The most well-known symptoms include hot flashes, night sweats, and mood changes. A common symptom is dry and itchy skin from perimenopause which can cause discomfort or self-consciousness. 

During menopause, estrogen levels drop when the menstrual cycle ends permanently. In the first 5 years of menopause, women lose 30% of their collagen and then 2% per year after that. Estrogen is a hormone that is responsible for many functions in the body, including those outside of female reproduction. For example, estrogen stimulates the production of collagen and oils found on the skin’s surface. 

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Collagen is a connective protein that is responsible for providing strong and rigid, but flexible support in the bones, ligaments, and skin. Collagen loss causes fine lines, wrinkles, and sagging of the skin. Oil on the skin’s surface is produced in sebaceous glands, which lose function in the absence of estrogen. The oils are important for retaining moisture in the skin. Decreasing estrogen, collagen, and oils can lead the skin to feel itchy and dry. 

Environmental factors may exacerbate skin symptoms of menopause. High sun exposure without SPF protection increases damage to the skin. The winter season and living in a cold environment removes moisture from the air and dehydrates the skin. Long, hot showers can dehydrate the skin and strip it of its oils, so taking shorter, more moderately temperature showers is recommended. 

Skin changes and dryness in menopause is normal due to decreasing estrogen levels. If you have any concerns or need symptom relief, speak with your healthcare provider for over-the-counter recommendations or prescription medications.

Disclaimer: At It’ we strive to provide valuable and reliable health information through our blog. We believe in empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their health and well-being. However, it is important to understand that the content on our blog is not intended to replace the advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified medical professional.

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