Menopause Dry Skin

December 23, 2009

Dry and flakey are terms we usually connect with pastry - and in the case of menopausal women, with our skin. Dry skin problems, from flaking to itching and bleeding often begin when a woman is in her mid-thirties. Sometimes it seems like an entire layer of skin was sloughed off during the night, remnants remaining on the sheets in the morning. To make matters worse, you begin to notice fine lines and wrinkles. All of these things are indications of inner operating systems and when you learn to read the signs, you can be proactive.

Two major factors contribute to dry skin. One is hormonal imbalance and the other is nutritional deficiencies. These factors are intertwined since the ability to maintain hormonal balance is contingent upon a nutrient rich diet.

Menopause Hormones

What is menopause if it isn't hormone imbalance? Is it any wonder then that skin conditions arise at this time of life? Hormone imbalances and declining hormone supplies, such as those that accompany menopause, means that there is not enough stimulation of oil glands (among other things). Oil production falls with declining hormone levels causing dry, flaking, itchy, skin. The deficiency of essential fatty acids and other necessary nutrients means the skin is not getting what it needs to replenish itself. The lack of EFAs can also affect hormone balance, which exacerbates the entire problem.

Dry skin is problematic, but lines and wrinkles are an even more common occurrence. Signs of aging begin to appear in the mid-thirties and the multi-billion dollar business of creams and potions is fed well by women fighting back. However, just as dry skin is an indication of nutritional deficiencies, what you eat (or don't eat) equally affects the signs of aging. Inflammation is caused by high glycemic foods, such as sugar, artificial sweeteners, food additives, and trans fats. This affects the shape, elasticity, and flexibility of collagen proteins, which shows on your face and other parts of your body. Hormonal imbalance naturally makes this inflammation worse, as does smoking and medications.

Menopause Diet

By taking control of your diet and giving your body the help and nutritional support it needs, especially during menopause, it is possible to reduce inflammation and restore balance to the hormones. Begin by eliminating all foods that are inflammatory. Most women know what they are because they recognize them from previous diets. Processed and fast foods and artificial sweeteners should be eliminated. If you must have sugar, reduce your intake and limit refined carbohydrates. Add fresh fruits, vegetables, and berries to your diet. These foods in particular are high in antioxidants and are good for your skin. Since we cannot get everything we need from our diet, a good multi-vitamin and essential fatty acid supplement will round out the picture.

Remember, the largest organ in your body is your skin. It has to be cared for just as the other organs in your body. Topical measures will not necessarily address the underlying issues. Proper nutrition, supplementation, hydration, and support will return this lovely organ to health without the need to cover it in potions and creams.

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