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Causes démangeaisons ménopause

Menopause and Itching: What are the Causes?

Menopause is a physiological phenomenon that affects all women at a certain age. Besides the cessation of menstruation, 80% of women experience at least one other symptom. Itching is among the common side effects of menopause. What causes it? How can it be eliminated? We're here to help you understand better.

Summary
Published March 13, 2024, by Pauline, Head of Scientific Communication — 4 min read

Menopause and Itching: How Can We Explain This Phenomenon?

Menopause is a critical biological stage in a woman's life. Characterized by the cessation of menstruation, menopause also comes with a host of visible and invisible symptoms, such as hot flashes, insomnia, night sweats, vaginal dryness, and urinary problems. Moreover, menopause has effects on a woman's skin and can be a source of itching.

These itchiness symptoms can be attributed to the weakening and deterioration of the skin during menopause, or even during the pre-menopause stage. Indeed, during this phase of life, the skin tends to become more permeable to allergens and less effective in its protective function against external aggressions. Common allergens such as nickel, perfume, or even pollution particles are then more likely to penetrate the epidermis and trigger an immune system response, resulting in the release of chemical mediators of inflammation such as cytokines. These immune cells play a key role in the recruitment and activation of other immune cells and constitute a first line of defense against pathogens. Some are also responsible for sensations of pain and itchiness.

The question that now arises is: why does the skin become more fragile and drier during menopause ? This skin alteration is actually due to the drop in estrogen and progesterone levels. Estrogens are known to have an impact on the function of the skin barrier, particularly by regulating the production of collagen and elastin, which are essential components of the extracellular matrix. The decrease in estrogens thus leads to an alteration of the horny layer, accompanied by a weakening of the hydrolipidic film, due to the decrease in progesterone production. Indeed, this hormone stimulates the activity of the sebaceous glands, synthesizing sebum, an essential constituent of the hydrolipidic film. Moreover, the decrease in estrogen levels causes a slowdown in cell renewal and the activity of keratinocytes, which also contributes to the weakening of the epidermis. Finally, this decrease can also affect the vascularization of the skin, leading to a decrease in skin blood flow which compromises the skin's ability to regenerate and can exacerbate itching.

How to soothe itching?

The best way to soothe itching caused by menopause is to strengthen the skin barrier. To do this, it's important to hydrate the skin daily with creams rich in humectants like glycerin and nourishing and lipid-replenishing agents such as ceramides and plant oils and butters. At Typology, we offer a whole range of products formulated for dry to very dry skin, in search of softness.

You can also use thermal waters, rich in minerals and trace elements with soothing properties. To do this, simply perform prolonged sprays or apply compresses soaked in cool water directly to the area prone to itching. Don't hesitate to add a few drops of true lavender essential oil, peppermint essential oil, or even Roman chamomile hydrosol to the wipe, natural ingredients known for their anti-inflammatory and calming properties.

Cold is a valuable ally in case of itching. When you feel tightness and the urge to scratch, wrap some ice cubes in a clean cloth and apply them for about fifteen minutes to your skin. This should help to soothe the irritation. However, be careful never to apply the ice cubes directly to the skin as this can cause significant burns.

Sources

  • PIERARD G. & al. The Skin and the Time of Menopause. The Medical Review of Liège (2006).

  • PUIZINA-IVIC N. Skin aging.Acta Dermatovenerologica Alpina Pannonica et Adriatica (2008).

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