menopause skin changes

Skin Changes During Menopause

Menopause is a natural phase of life that every woman will undergo, but the changes it brings can often seem anything but natural. One of these changes is how it affects our skin’s health and appearance. This article explores the relationship between menopause and skin health, including how to manage and treat these skin changes during menopause.

Understanding Menopause

Stages of Menopause

Menopause is not a one-time event, but a series of stages that women typically go through between their late 40s and early 60s. The stages include pre-menopause, perimenopause, menopause, and post-menopause, each with its unique hormonal changes and potential impacts on the skin.

Skin Changes During Menopause

The Role of Hormones in Menopause

Estrogen and Skin Health

Estrogen, the primary female sex hormone, plays a crucial role in maintaining skin health. It promotes skin thickness, hydration, and elasticity. However, during menopause, estrogen levels plummet, which can trigger various skin changes.

How Menopause Affects Skin

Menopausal Skin Changes

With menopause, the skin loses some of its ability to retain moisture, making it prone to dryness. The collagen levels also decrease, leading to a loss of skin elasticity and the formation of wrinkles. Furthermore, changes in pigmentation can occur, leading to age spots or uneven skin tone.

Types of Skin Changes

Dry Skin

With the drop in estrogen levels, your skin may lose some of its ability to retain moisture, resulting in dryness. This dryness can make your skin feel tight and uncomfortable, leading to flaking, itching, and redness.


Decreased collagen production during menopause contributes to thinning of the skin and the appearance of wrinkles. You may notice more pronounced lines and creases, particularly around the eyes, mouth, and forehead.

Thinning of Skin

Estrogen helps maintain skin thickness. As estrogen levels drop during menopause, the skin can become thinner and more fragile, increasing susceptibility to injury and delays in wound healing.

Age Spots and Hyperpigmentation

Menopause can result in changes to your skin’s pigmentation, leading to the development of age spots or areas of darker skin known as hyperpigmentation. If you’ve spent ample time in the sun without sun protection, you’ll likely see the effects now.

Age spots and larger areas of darker skin can appear on your face, hands, neck, arms, or chest.  Apply sunscreen to help prevent new spots from forming and reduce risk of skin cancer. Hydroquinone can help fade age spots. Just check in with a dermatologist first to make sure it’s not a skin cancer before treatment.


While acne is commonly associated with adolescence, hormonal fluctuations during menopause can trigger breakouts, often around the jawline and chin.

Menopause Skin Changes

Additional Skin Changes During Menopause

Facial Hair Growth and Head Hair Loss

Facial Hair Growth

Another unexpected change that can occur during menopause is the growth of facial hair. This usually occurs under the chin, along the jawline, and above the lip. These changes are typically the result of hormonal imbalances during menopause, specifically an increase in androgens (male hormones) relative to declining estrogen levels.

Head Hair Loss

Conversely, you may experience hair loss on your head during menopause. It manifests as noticeable thinning of the hair, often accompanied by a receding hairline. This is also due to the hormonal shifts during menopause, where lower estrogen levels can lead to slower hair growth and thinner strands.

Treatment for Facial Hair Growth and Head Hair Loss

There are various treatments available to manage these hair-related changes. Minoxidil, for example, can be used to slow hair loss and stimulate growth on the scalp. Laser treatment can also be a useful method for removing unwanted facial hair and promoting hair growth on the scalp.

Finasteride is another medication that can help with hair loss, though it’s typically used in men and may not be suitable or approved for use in all women. Additionally, hair transplant surgery is an option for those looking for a more permanent solution to hair loss.

Medical Treatments

Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) and Topical Treatments

Medical treatments for menopause-induced skin changes range from hormone replacement therapy, which replenishes diminished estrogen levels, to topical treatments such as prescription creams and ointments that target specific skin concerns.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy can address several skin issues related to menopause, including wrinkles, age spots, and hyperpigmentation. It works by promoting the production of collagen to improve skin elasticity and tone.

Consult with a Facial Plastic Surgeon

Consulting a facial plastic surgeon can provide personalized advice and treatment options for skin changes during menopause. Remember, everyone’s skin is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another.

Menopause is a significant phase in a woman’s life that brings about various changes, including those related to skin health. Understanding these changes and learning how to manage them can help you maintain your skin’s health and appearance during and after menopause. It’s important to remember that each woman’s menopause journey is unique, and so the effects and remedies may differ. Regular consultations with a dermatologist can ensure the right approach towards skincare during this time.


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