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Postmenopausal hormone changes in skin


With an ever-growing older population due to longer life expectancy, Diane Berson, M.D., New York City, says dermatologists should expect to see an influx of postmenopausal women seeking anti-aging procedures and therapies to combat the side effects of living longer, including dryness, wrinkling and sagging.

Dr. Berson, dermatologist and faculty member at Weill Cornell Medical College, spoke at the 2019 American Society for Dermatologic Surgery (ASDS) in Chicago, about the significant role hormones play in postmenopausal women.

In her presentation, Dr. Berson attributes some of the side effects of aging to a decline in estrogen levels beginning in perimenopause and becoming almost completely depleted by the time women reach post-menopause.

Due to estrogen’s ability to stimulate fibroblasts - leading to a production of collagen, elastin and glycosaminoglycans, which subsequently leaves the skin looking smooth, firm, hydrated and plump - a decline in these levels can take away youthful skin characteristics, according to Dr. Berson.

She says, typically, most women associate irritability, night sweats, vaginal dryness and insomnia as the main symptoms of menopause, rather than skin changes.

“A lot of women don't necessarily associate these changes of aging with hormones,” Dr. Berson says. “They think it's just normal chronological aging, but in actuality their hormone drop plays a big role.”

To combat this misconception, she suggests dermatologists educate their patients and recommend sun protection, antioxidants, peptides, retinol, growth factors and MEP  - a non-hormone estrogen receptor agonist that stimulates the receptors on fibroblasts and keratinocytes as estrogen does  - to their patients to help combat the signs of aging.

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