Menopause


Tips & Tricks | Self-Care

None of us like to age and for many women the changes we experience with the onset of Menopause are the first real signs that we’re getting older.  For some, it begins very abruptly due to surgery or other medical treatment.  For others, it occurs naturally as ovaries diminish in function over time.  However, the underlying health implication is a fluctuation in the level and balance of hormones; leading to emotional, physical and mental changes.  I encourage you as women, to embrace the changes and learn to live fully during this time with a beautiful and accepting sense of self, faith and humor.  I believe the more informed we become about true expectations, the more empowered we feel.  As a dermatologist, I seek to treat but also educate and guide my patients through this season of SKIN, HAIR, and NAIL changes.

Throughout menopause, skin begins to show signs of progressive dryness, fine lines, wrinkles, irregular pigmentation, brown spots, larger pores, and oftentimes whiteheads.  These skin issues are mostly due to hormonal changes but can also result from environmental influences and ineffective product use.

Let’s consider for a moment how we can actually help our SKIN during this time

 

  Dry Brush:

Dry Brushing is a helpful technique for full body skin to exfoliate the dead, dry skin cells just prior to showering or bathing.  Using a brush with appropriate bristles, all strokes should be directed toward the heart to maximize circulation and lymphatic system benefits.

 

  Hydrate | Moisturize:

Every year we lose part of our protective water barrier during menopause so keeping the skin hydrated is important.  The type of product used is critical because many of the moisturizers on the market, including coconut oil, consist of large molecules not effectively absorbed into the skin.  In spite of the immediate feel good application, they actually lead to further aging and dryness of the skin.

Staying hydrated benefits our circulation AND our skin.  This best occurs with unpolluted water…without any artificial sweeteners, flavorings, colorings and products dissolved in it.  This is very important for our skin.  Drink about 80 ounces of pure water every day, adding more if caffeinated beverages are consumed that result in further dehydration.

Support all levels of your skin with physician strength skin care products.  These have been carefully studied, proven to be absorbed effectively, and are regulated under the FDA.  Daily skin cleansing and toning, along with supportive products such as vitamin C, tretinoin, DNA enzyme repair cream, as well as a ‘twice weekly’ scrub is critical in maintaining the overall health and look of the skin.  Finish out the morning routine with healthy mineral makeup.

 

  Daily Use of Sunscreen

There are definite and numerous health benefits in spending time outside.  However, the myth that we need to be in the sun for our vitamin D levels was debunked long ago.  Our primary ability to convert a Vitamin D metabolite to active Vitamin D in the skin is maximized at 5 minutes of sun exposure a day and then it begins to diminish.  So, obtain your Vitamin D from food and supplementation while you protect your skin with sunscreen and UPF clothing to decrease aging of the skin as well as skin cancer.

 

  Nutrition:

Proper nutrition is absolutely a must during this season of life.  Protein is the building block for the collagen in our skin and hair, therefore, we need an adequate amount of animal or plant protein daily.  Minimize empty calories such as high sugar.  Consume good fats every day to optimize mental function.  When it comes to fruits and vegetables, the newest recommendation to optimize health and stave off chronic disease is 13-17 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.  To adequately do this, I recommend a variety of quality fruits and vegetables along with daily Juice Plus capsules.

 

  Exercise:

Physical movement is a must to increase vascularity to the skin, promote joint health, maintain proper weight, and increase endorphin levels.  Incorporate a variety of stretching, weight training and cardiovascular exercise into your weekly schedule.  Having a friend accompany you adds a beautiful component of social connectedness and accountability.

Menopause has a satiric side when it comes to our HAIR.   We lose hair where we want it and gain hair where we do not.  We can still take steps to make a difference though.

Facial Hair:  There really is no simple cure for this…just routine maintenance.  I recommend removal with waxing or dermaplaning.  For a limited number, and only for those with darkly pigmented hair, laser can be effective but requires multiple treatments.
Scalp Hair:  Many times our hair begins a thinning process during this time.  We can minimize this by supporting our hair with Biotin supplements, consuming adequate protein in our diets, supplementing with Juice Plus and finding stress relievers.  As stress worsens hair loss, needed relief may include mindfulness, yoga, exercise, prayer, reading, time with friends, etc.  Explore what helps YOU relieve your stress.
Eyelashes:  The eyelashes can lose volume as well as length and quantity.  Using a type of serum that enhances their growth can be very beneficial.

Our NAILS dehydrate as well as our skin during the menopausal season.  To prevent the ridges and splitting that can occur, hydration is essential.  The best way to do this is to use a cuticle conditioner on a daily basis.  Also, soak the nails in slightly warmed olive oil for about 30 minutes 2 times a week.

We can’t prevent menopause but we can diminish symptoms.  Take care of yourself and if needed, seek help with your dermatologist in managing unwanted skin, hair and nail changes.  In closing, one of the best approaches to menopause is to simply accept change and trust God as you rest in His Will for you.   Love yourself!  Love others!  Focus on God’s beautiful gifts, blessings and opportunities as you seek to use them for God’s glory!


We can’t prevent menopause but we can diminish symptoms.  Take care of yourself and if needed, seek help with your dermatologist in managing unwanted skin, hair and nail changes.  In closing, one of the best approaches to menopause is to simply accept change and trust God as you rest in His Will for you.   Love yourself!  Love others!  Focus on God’s beautiful gifts, blessings and opportunities as you seek to use them for God’s glory!