During your early years of perimenopause, you may notice that your skin starts to change. You could suddenly develop a dry t-zone, or flaky elbow skin (that was my first sign), but then it can appear anywhere, even on a previously quite oily body.
However, dry or itchy skin can occur much later in the menopause, too. I know someone who was twelve years into hers and it started - much to her surprise!
Somewhere between the ages of 40 and 58, most women enter menopause. This is when the ovaries stop releasing eggs, periods come to an end and the production of oestrogen begins to decline.
Oestrogen, as you probably know by now, is a POWERHOUSE hormone! It affects everything and helps us to tick over through our productive years.
It's function includes the stimulation of the formation of skin-smoothing collagen and oils. That's why, as menopause approaches and its production diminishes, dry, itchy skin can become a problem. In fact, it's quite common during menopause.
The reduction of oestrogen, and changing ratios of other hormones, don't just slow down the body's oil production, but also reduces your body's ability to retain moisture.
There are hundreds of creams and lotions you could apply. I have my favourites and I'm sure you do too. Going forward, I'll recommend some, but I'll do some more research first. That deals with the external side.
However, a slight change to your diet is going to massively help. Focus on ESSENTIAL FATTY ACIDS. Omega-3 is found, in different quantities, in salmon and walnuts, sardines, flax and soy, scallops, cauliflower, cabbage, mustard seeds and cloves, halibut, shrimp, cod, tuna, brussel sprouts, tofu, kale, raspberries, miso, the list goes on.
These foods will help your skin's oil barrier, vital to keeping skin hydrated. Most of us have a diet low in omega-3s, so it's definitely worth researching and hopefully, you'll be able to incorporate this important element into your diet. It's benefits are many, not limited to improving skin.
Speak to a naturopath or dietician to get some real education and advice about omega-3. Let me know where you are and I'll put you in touch with someone.
BUT - it’s important to remember that you are an individual. One size doesn’t fit all. The life you’ve lived, the experiences you’ve had, the thoughts and feelings you’ve had, your family, your beliefs, and so on, all serve to make you the beautiful, unique woman you’ve become. And it’s for this reason that when you decide to take responsibility for your own well-being, you may have to try several avenues before discovering what suits you and what heals you. We all need a helping hand to get through difficult periods in our life and there’s plenty of help out there. Just keep talking to people to find what it is you need. Spend the time on yourself.You’re worth it and you deserve it.