Acne and Menopause
Menopause has some very interesting symptoms. Women can experience insomnia, hot flashes, extreme night sweats, irritability, anxiety, headaches, achy joints, mood swings, trouble concentrating, and even acne. Some women never experience the last one, but for at least ten percent of all menopause patients, pimples and blemishes are a real problem. Some women haven’t had a zit since their teen years, and suddenly their faces are full of them. The truth is, though, those teens and the women going through menopause have a number of things in common. Acne is typically caused by hormone swings, which occurs on an extensive basis during both puberty and menopause. It is hard for most women to regress back to their teen years of worrying about a pimple in the mirror when they’re struggling to deal with all of the other symptoms of menopause.
Acne during menopause occurs for much the same reason that acne occurs during any other portion of life. The skin has a number of sebaceous glands. These glands produce skin oil, scientifically known as sebum. Skin cells are consistently regenerated. Old ones die, and they are quickly replaced with new ones. When the body’s hormones rage, hormones that include estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, and DHEA, the sebaceous glands become sensitive and started producing more sebum than they need to. More skin cells begin to die. As a result, not only do you have more facial oil than you need, you also have more dead skin cells than you need. Your body cannot keep up, and it cannot get rid of the unwanted materials fast enough. The hair follicles on the face get clogged with the oil and the dead cells. The sebum production increases again, and your teenage acne flairs up anew.
Those terrible white heads occur because all skin has bacteria that live off of the sebum. Then the sebum builds up under the skin, as occurs with too much sebum production, the bacteria and the oil combine. An inflamed area builds up with white puss underneath. Blackheads also occur when the bacteria and oil combine under the skin, but with a blackhead, air leaks in. As a result, the material that is caught in the pore turns black. Menopause acne isn’t entirely like all other acne, though. Both the sebaceous glands and the hair follicles on the face contain an enzyme. This particular enzyme is able to turn estrogen into androgen testosterone. This can cause more oil production than all other sources combine. This means more breakouts than you probably had in your teen years.
The acne you experience during menopause can be overly frustrating. You, however, do have some ways to try to clear it up. Your first step is to examine your diet. You need to be eating foods that are high in calcium and fiber. Also, be sure you cut back on your fat and the carbohydrates you eat. Carbohydrates can take your body’s insulin and turn it into androgens. As we talked about before, androgen can increase the sebum production in the skin. One other change you might want to make in your diet is to be sure that you are drinking eight to ten glasses of water each day.
In addition to making some dietary changes, you might want to consider adding some supplements to your life. There are so many vitamins, herbs, and minerals widely available that can help you get rid of the oil production in your body. Most studies suggest that you should add Vitamin B and Vitamin C to your diet. Your diet and supplement things aren’t the only things you should consider, though, you should also clean your skin at least twice each day. You should exfoliate on a regular basis, as this can help get rid of those dead skin cells. Also, be sure to use a toner to close up those open pores that are so famous for collecting the things that create acne.