If you think menopause only causes hot flashes and moodiness, think again! Menopause, or the decline in women’s hormones as they get older, also effects the skin, hair, and bones. Often, women’s hormone levels start to decline in their 30s, so that by the time a woman reaches menopause her hormone levels are already at an all-time low. As our life expectancies become longer, more and more postmenopausal women are looking for solutions to these concerns in order to live happier and healthier. There are multiple ways to approach the anti-aging process during and after menopause but balancing a woman’s hormones with bioidentical hormone replacement can make one of the biggest differences. Hormone balancing can provide many benefits including better mood, libido, sleep, improved appearance of dry, wrinkled and loose aging skin and decreased hot flashes. It can also increase hair growth. Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, DHEA and vitamin D all affect how we feel inside and out. Finding harmony between these hormones is key! Too little or too much of these will either not effectively treat the hormone deficiency or possibly cause side effects. It’s important to go to a physician with extensive knowledge and training of wellness and hormone therapy.
How do we fight aging skin? Sun protection is the first step! This includes applying a physical blocking SPF that contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, avoiding the sun during peak hours (10 am to 2 pm) and wearing protective clothing. In addition, a high-performance professional-grade skin care regimen is essential and should include growth factors, retinols, antioxidants, and peptides to enhance the production of collagen and encourage skin cell renewal. There are multitudes of products and treatments that can help prevent and reverse the appearance of aging skin, and balancing the hormones is also extremely beneficial.
In addition to hormones and the skin, female patterned baldness is very common during and after menopause and can cause intense emotional distress. Signs to look out for include a widening at the part and thinning on top of the scalp. Hair loss is complex and is often influenced by other factors besides hormones such as stress, diet, and genetics. Thankfully, there has been a significant increase in research related to hair loss which has opened the door to new treatment options! There are new nutraceuticals that address not only vitamin deficiencies but also cortisol, inflammation, and stress. Platelet-rich plasma injections, or “PRP” and prescription topicals can also result in additional hair growth and thickness.
The best way to tackle post-menopausal effects on the body is to approach it from all angles. Proper hormone balancing, skincare, haircare, and even nutrition can help pave the way to looking good and feeling confident at any age!
Physician Assistant – Certified