Have you noticed a rash occurring on your skin lately?
This subject came up in our community recently. It’s not one of the more common signs of peri/menopause and we promised to look into it for you. We understand that the arrival of a rash of any kind can be distressing. 🆘🆘🆘
These days more and more women are talking about peri/menopause and searching for answers. As a result, health pro’s are realising that perimenopause/menopause and post-menopause may have the greatest impact on women’s health during their lifetimes. However, research on the topic is limited. And by the same token, many GPs don’t know a lot about it.
It’s A Maybe
It turns out that rashes are not a direct result or actual sign of meno but, broadly speaking, a rash may be exacerbated or brought on by hormonal changes. (Sigh!)
What Is Peri/Menopause?
As you probably already know – especially if you’re here on the reg – peri/menopause is a time of massive physical change within the body, as it is the lead-up to and the ending of our periods and fertility. This process affects several different hormones with estrogen and progesterone being major players (but don’t rule out cortisol, thyroid and insulin).
It’s a time when estrogen production in our ovaries slows, we stop producing eggs and our periods come to an end. As a result of changing hormone levels, many of us experience things like hot flushes, vaginal itchiness or dryness, joint aches, and/or mood swings.
So far, so well-known right?
Estrogen, Skin & Sensitivity
Declining levels of estrogen can also lead to skin problems, but once again the research is limited.
However, one thing we do know is that diminishing estrogen causes our skin to become drier and more prone to wrinkles (sob!) – or as some people like to say to leave marks of a life well lived (!) 😊
One of the lesser-known facts of the physiological alterations is that the body temeprature fluctuations and changes to our skin can also make it more sensitive. Itchy skin, paresthesia and formication are also common signs of peri/menopause, and our body’s thermostatic system goes a little haywire at this time and tends to redden as it heats up into a hot flush.
This sensitivity could also make your skin more susceptible to irritation (hello rash?) as well as more reactive to fragrances, skincare and/or fabrics than you’ve been at other times in your life.
Rosacea & Eczema
During our 30s and 40s, we can also become more susceptible to developing rosacea (a reddening around the nose, cheeks and/or forehead) and eczema though these aren’t believed to be related to hormonal changes.
Every. Body. Is Different
Notice I’ve used the words could, may and can over will, does and is 😊. This is definitely one of those cases where Every. Body. is different and what affects Joan won’t necessarily impact Jill.
What Can You Do?
There are a few tried and true soothers for irritated skin that may help.
- Change up your skincare and avoid anything with fragrance and harsh ingredients.
- Use products containing colloidal oatmeal.
- Invest in a cooling towel to see if that helps. My Chilly Towel in Australia has a good selection and there are a lot of choices on Amazon.
- Of course, keeping your hormones as balanced as possible is your best bet with a safe and natural aid.
There doesn’t seem to be a definitive answer to rashes during the meno years. If you’re experiencing them or are concerned about other skin changes make an appointment with a dermatologist or your GP to talk it over. There could be many reasons you’re experiencing a rash.
Photo Credit: Jeremy Bishop