Does the menopause make your body age faster?

The menopause is a natural part of ageing, marking the end of a woman’s reproductive years. The loss of hormones that occurs during menopause combined with some of the symptoms of menopause such as insomnia can accelerate the ageing process. Dr Martina Pirklova discusses what can be done to help women feel more confident in their appearance during this time of change.

By Dr Martina Pirklova

Dip Imp Dent RCS (Eng). Level 7 Certificate in Injectable Aesthetic Non-Surgical Interventions

The Menopause is a natural part of growing older for women, usually beginning between the ages of 45-55 when oestrogen levels start to reduce. It can be a lengthy process, with the perimenopause starting up to 4 years before the menopause and the menopause phase also lasting around four years after your last period.

A study by the University of California measured the changes in menopausal women’s DNA and concluded that the cells of women who had experienced menopause speed up the ageing process by around 6%.

Great! Another cheery fact of growing older as a woman!

Another, depressing fact about the menopause is how it affects our confidence. Women in their 50’s often feel increasingly ‘invisible’ in society and no longer useful or valued. Well, here are REclinic, we say ‘SCREW THAT!’

We can’t reverse the clock and we can’t make you look just like you did in your twenties or thirties but there are treatments out there that can help make the transition through the menopause more comfortable. As well, as helping boost your confidence and self-esteem.

Looking after yourself during the menopause

The symptoms of the menopause are wide ranging. Night sweats, hot flushes, joint pains, low sex drive, vaginal dryness, mood swings, weight gain and memory loss to name a few. Looking after yourself with healthy eating and exercise can definitely help improve those symptoms. However, when symptoms are extreme and start impacting your day to day life, your GP can help with prescribed treatments, such as Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or referring you for talking therapy like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT). I strongly recommend you speak to them if you are struggling and don’t just ‘suffer on through’!

One of the problems many of us don’t expect to experience is a massive drop in the quality of our skin. However, many women do experience a dramatic change in their skin and this is one of the primary factors that can really affect our self-esteem.

In menopause, skin quickly loses collagen, a protein that occurs naturally in our bodies and helps keep our skin ‘elastic’. Studies show that our skin loses about 30% of its collagen during the first five years of menopause. After that, the decline is more gradual, losing about 2% of collagen ever year for the next 20 years.

As collagen diminishes, our skin loses it firmness and begins to sag. Jowls appear. Permanent lines run from the tip of the nose to the corners of the mouth. Wrinkles that used to appear only with a smile or frown become visible all the time. Later, the tip of the nose dips and you may see pouches under your eyes.

Accelerated skin ageing and conditions that can occur during menopause such as rosacea are not easily treated with over-the-counter creams and lotions and many women turn to clinical solutions to help them feel ‘more like themselves’ and restore their confidence in their appearance.

What non-surgical cosmetic treatments can help during and post the menopause?

Anti-wrinkle injections

Our muscles and the expressions they make, such as smiling or frowning, will, over time, cause lines and wrinkles to appear. As we age our skin loses elasticity due to a reduction in collagen causing wrinkles to deepen and become more pronounced. Of course, wrinkles are in part a sign of all the laughter we’ve enjoyed over the years and should be celebrated as such, but if they bother you there are treatments available to help minimise the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Botulinum toxin, commonly known as Botox is a natural, purified protein and has been used within the cosmetic industry for over 20 years. It works by temporarily relaxing the muscles in the treated area to stop them contracting and animating, which leads to the softening of the lines created during expression. In the hands of a skilled professional, muscle-relaxing injections can not only help reduce the appearance of lines and wrinkles but can also further refine and enhance your features.

Profhilo – Injectable moisturiser

Profhilo is one of the most innovative new injectable moisture treatments. In clinical tests, it has been shown not just to improve hydration in the skin but to also boost the skin's elasticity and collagen levels too. Classed as a ʻbiostimulatorʼ, something that starts significant renewal within the skin, it is definitely one of the quickest and most effective cosmetic fixes that delivers a lustrous, healthy glow to your skin.

Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) for hair thinning and loss

Hair thinning and hair loss during the menopause is a extremely common but can be very distressing. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) therapy is one of the safest, most natural and effective approaches to dealing with hair loss. It involves taking a small quantity of your own blood and harvesting its nutrient-rich plasma using a centrifuge. These platelets, once activated, release many ‘growth factors’ - proteins that stimulate cell repair and growth.

PRP is injected into your scalp to strengthen your hair follicles and stimulate growth. There is no downtime after the procedure and we usually recommend four to six treatments spread out over a six to nine month period. You can expect to see initial hair growth after four treatments.

Non surgical facelift

Commonly known as a ‘liquid facelift’, this treatment is an increasingly popular choice for those who want to give their face the appearance of being lifted and rejuvenated without resorting to plastic surgery. The ‘8 point lift’ non-surgical facelift helps reverse the appearance of those tell-tale signs of ageing by using fillers to restore lost volume in the mid-face and create youthful contours to the cheeks, temples and jawline. It’s often combined with further treatments to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines can also be used in combination with the fillers. REclinic patient, Gillian, kept a video diary of her non-surgical, ‘liquid’ facelift. You can watch it here. Or read our detailed blog about this treatment.

Medical-grade skin care with Alumier MD

As we age our cellular turnover slows down and our fibroblasts decrease production of collagen and elastin. A good skincare routine including the use of sunscreen and gentle exfoliation will help to maintain a beautiful complexion and delay the signs of ageing. It can also help treat conditions such as rosacea. Over-the-counter creams and lotions simply don’t have the strength of ingredients to effectively combat these signs of ageing.

AlumierMD medical skincare range combines a variety of medical-grade ingredients, including AHAs, BHAs, retinol, antioxidants, vitamins and peptides. Following a detailed consultation, a tailored treatment plan with products that tackle your specific requirements is created.

Combined with chemical skin peel treatments we can reduce the appearance of pores, acne and acne scarring, hyperpigmentation, treat sun damaged skin, age spots, fine lines and wrinkles.

Tear trough fillers

One of the most common requests I get from patients is to help reduce under eye hollows and dark circles.

As we age, the skin in this area becomes thinner, loses collagen and elastin which results in a loss of volume. Hence, the deepening of the tear trough groove and an increase in the appearance of dark circles and tired-looking eyes.

Tear trough fillers use a very light hyaluronic acid dermal fillers to replace lost volume to these delicate areas. At REclinic, we use a dermal filler product specifically designed for the under-eye area called Teosyal Puresense Redensity 2 by Teoxane. The filler product also contains a mix of amino acids, antioxidants, minerals, vitamins that help hydrate and replenish the skin as well as providing a natural light reflection.

The menopause is, let’s be frank, a bloody cruel process that women have to endure. Historically, society has not talked about it enough and women have been expected to ‘put up’ with the changes to their bodies, to their emotions and to their sense of self-worth. Slowly, we are starting to address this and I hope that accelerates. Cosmetic treatments and facial aesthetics can’t stop the menopause or resolve the physical symptoms many of us have to endure. But, they can help reduce some of the signs of ageing, which in turn can help us feel more confident and self-assured which can only be a good thing. After all, we are worth it and don’t let anyone tell you differently!

If you would like to explore any of the treatment options discussed in this blog or any the other treatments we offer at REclinic, book your free consultation with me today and let me talk you through the ways I can help make your transition into later life more comfortable.

http://www.reclinic.co.uk/contact

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