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Skin Changes During Menopause

What to expect and what you can do about it
by: Erica Kelly MD
Erica Kelly - Galveston Diet

Is menopause changing your skin?

Is there any part of your body that isn’t affected by menopause? You may be asking yourself that same question. Many women are familiar with some of the ways changing hormones affect your body and your life, but you may not know that changes in estrogen levels can have profound effects on your skin. 

During menopause, estrogen levels decline which can result in decreased elasticity. These changes may leave your skin feeling dry, thin, and droopy. Dr. Erica Kelly wants you to understand why these changes are happening and what you can do to lessen the effects.

What’s happening to my skin???

Menopause begins one year after your last period, and at that time estrogen levels drop and stay at a low level. Having less estrogen production causes skin to lose essential moisture which results in a whole list of problems like decreased skin thickness, decreased elasticity, and wrinkles. But, with the proper care and attention, you can combat some of these concerns and improve the quality and tone of your skin.

Decreased elasticity in the skin is one of the effects of declining estrogen levels during menopause. It is important to protect your skin every day with sunscreen and moisturizers made for sensitive skin.

– Erica Kelly, MD

Menopause, What to Expect for Your Skin:

Dry, Sensitive Skin

With less estrogen, skin is less able to retain the water it needs to stay hydrated. This means your skin may feel overly dry. You may also notice your skin is more sensitive than usual and may become irritated or itchy. Many women experience unexplained rashes during menopause.

What can you do?

  1. Choose a mild skin cleanser instead of basic soap. 
  2. Apply moisturizer to your entire body on a regular basis. Don’t wait for your skin to feel dry. Moisturizers with hyaluronic acid may be very helpful.
  3. Avoid cleansers or moisturizers with fragrances. 
  4. Take warm, not hot, showers. Hot water can remove helpful oils in the skin that can make dryness worse.
  5. Moisturize immediately after you dry off from a shower. Skin can absorb moisture better while it is still slightly damp.
  6. Drink plenty of water.

Wrinkles and Sagging Skin

Skin loses collagen as we age, especially during the first five years after menopause. Studies show that women’s skin can lose about 30 percent of its collagen during this initial time period, and then the loss slows but still continues. Less collagen means more wrinkles and sagging skin. 

What can you do?

  1. Use broad-spectrum sun protection (minimum SPF 30) every day to reduce the wrinkles you have and help prevent new ones from forming. 
  2. Level up your skin care routine to include retinol or peptides. These have been shown to increase the amount of collagen which can help fill in the lines and wrinkles that are forming. 

Increased Bruising

Decreasing estrogen levels cause skin to become thinner. Thin skin bruises more easily than thicker skin. 

What can you do?

  1. Use broad-spectrum sun protection (minimum SPF 30) every day to help slow the sun’s effect on thinning skin. Sun exposure also contributes to thinning skin.
  2. Use skin care products that contain retinol.

4 Things You Should Do Every Day to Protect Your Skin

According to Dr. Erica Kelly, MD


After you made it through puberty you may have thought your acne days were behind you. Unfortunately, some women experience a resurgence of acne caused by menopausal hormone changes. 

What can you do?

  1. Choose cleansing products that are made for sensitive skin. Because skin becomes drier and thinner during menopause, traditional acne treatments targeted for teenagers may be too harsh.
  2. Wash your face several times a day, with a gentle cleanser that contains salicylic acid. 

Slower Healing

Declining estrogen levels make it harder for skin to heal quickly. A cut or scrape may take much longer to heal than it did earlier in life. 

What can you do?

  1. Protect damaged skin with an adhesive bandage to help prevent additional damage or infection.
  2. See your dermatologist if you have an area that is not healing at all, or that is red, inflamed or extremely irritated. 

American Academy of Dermatology

Cleveland Clinic

North American Menopause Society

Related Posts:

The Galveston Diet can help women in menopause feel more confident in their skin.

This blog provides general information and discussion about medicine, health and related subjects. The words and other content provided in this blog, and in any linked materials, are not intended and should not be construed as medical advice. If the reader or any other person has a medical concern, he or she should consult with an appropriately-licensed physician or other health care worker.

Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog or in any linked materials. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or emergency room immediately.

The views expressed on this blog and website have no relation to those of any academic, hospital, practice or other institution with which the authors are affiliated.

While the information on the site was prepared to provide accurate information regarding topics related to general and specific health issues, the information contained in the site is made available with the express understanding that neither Dr. Mary Claire Haver,, nor the other experts on the site, nor the site itself, nor members of the Site are dispensing medical advice and do not intend any of this information to be used for self-diagnosis or treatment.


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