REClinic | Your Skin and Menopause

Your Skin and Menopause

By Dr Martina Pirklova Wood
Dip Imp Dent RCS (Eng) PGCert ANSI. Level 7 Certificate in Injectable Aesthetic Non-Surgical Interventions

Out in the open
We’ve talked before about the way ageing affects your skin, and the arrival of menopause can really accelerate those changes.

For many years, perimenopause and menopause have been taboo subjects. Thankfully, that is changing as the subject is discussed more openly in the media and high-profile figures like Davina McCall talk about their own experiences. Employers are beginning to recognise the impact menopause can have and offer more support to staff and there are a growing number of support groups available for women and their families.

In the UK, the average age for a woman to begin menopause is 51, but many experience it a lot earlier, in their 40s or even late 30s. However, perimenopause (the period where symptoms begin but your periods are yet to stop) can commence in the preceding 4-8 years - think of it as an early warning that things are changing, which brings on many of the same hormonal changes as menopause itself.

Menopausal woman in front of a fan

What’s really happening?
Whichever way you look at it, it’s a tumultuous time for your body. The levels of oestrogen, progesterone and testosterone are decreasing whilst your cortisol, insulin and thyroid levels are fluctuating. Inside your body the changes are immense, and this can show on the outside of your body too.

From the age of 20, your collagen stores begin to deplete, at a rate of 2% per year up until the age of 40. This means you are naturally losing some of the plumpness in areas like your cheeks, but at a very slow speed so changes are barely noticeable.

Once menopause starts you can lose up to a staggering 30% of your collagen during the first five years. Not only this but during both menopause and perimenopause, skin can become drier, thinner and more unpredictable, with many women experiencing acne, rosacea and oily or dry patches. Lines from smiling or frowning can become permanent wrinkles and pores become enlarged. Coupled with the possibility of hair loss, weight gain and age spots it can be a tough time, physically and emotionally.

At RE Clinic, we work with many clients who are experiencing symptoms of either menopause or perimenopause and are struggling with skin that has suddenly changed or that they feel is starting to look tired, dull or has become hypersensitive.

Making a plan
They say that forewarned is forearmed, and in the case of menopause, that’s certainly true. Knowing what to expect and understanding why changes are happening can really ease the emotional stress, it can also help you to work out how to deal with these changes.

When we have an initial meeting with any of our patients, we spend time talking to them about the problem areas that they want to address and working out what treatments will work best for them. When it comes to menopausal skin that is even more important as we’re often dealing with thinner, more sensitive skin and our approach needs to take that into account.

Giving you a boost
As clinicians, we want to ensure that each treatment delivers the best, most natural-looking results, but that’s only possible if we listen to you and your skin. If you’ve chosen to take Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) or Bioidentical Hormone Therapy (BHT) then we need to make sure that the products we use will complement that.

Dermal fillers are a great solution for wrinkles, sagging jowls and cheeks. They are full of Hyaluronic Acid (HA), a sugar which occurs naturally in the body, which when injected into key areas pulls water from the body to those areas restoring plumpness and lifting the skin back into place. Our Profhilo face and neck treatment is a great example, not only does it improve the skin’s hydration, but it also boosts its elasticity and collagen levels. In the aesthetics world, we call it a bio-stimulator, as it kickstarts significant renewal within the skin, a healthy glow.

Nucleofill is another fabulous solution for those who want to restore freshness to their skin without any added volume. It is not a dermal filler, but a unique treatment solution blending bio-stimulation and intense moisturisation to create instant lift and contouring as well as rejuvenate the skin with an anti-ageing effect.

Nucleofill neutralises free radicals, the harmful atoms that increase as we age, damaging cells and causing facial ageing. It attracts stem cells to the area it’s injected into, repairing tissue and encouraging the formation of new capillaries which bring blood, nutrients and oxygen to your face.

Hair loss and gain
As well as affecting your skin, menopause can impact your hair. The hair on your head can start to thin and you might start to notice unwanted facial hair appearing along your jawline or upper lip. These changes are caused specifically by a decrease in oestrogen and thyroid hormones.

If you’re tackling thinning hair, there are biostimulation products that can help here as well, encouraging new cell growth and re-energising hair follicles. There are also topical treatments that can be applied to eyelashes and eyebrows to encourage regrowth. The secret though is to start the process early on, the longer you leave it the greater the problem.

If you’re considering removing unwanted hair then creams and laser treatments are the usual go-to's, but it’s important to bear in mind that your skin is changing during this period and can be more sensitive or easily irritated. During menopause, it’s always wise to consult a professional before trying a new hair removal procedure or product. It might be that something you’ve tried in the past is no longer as effective, or you need advice about a new problem area, whatever the issue the more tailored and precise the treatment the more effective it will be.

At RE Clinic, we have the expertise and training not only to advise but to administer the most effective products in order to achieve a look that enhances your natural beauty, whatever your stage of life. Please get in touch for a free consultation.

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