Considered a taboo subject until relatively recently, menopause had to wait until the year 2000 to have its own world day, when the International Menopause Society (IMS) and the World Health Organization (WHO) agreed that it would be celebrated every October 18. It is estimated that currently in our country more than 2.6 million women suffer from symptoms related to it, despite the fact that “these problems that directly affect the quality of life are treated only in four out of ten of them, while the The rest face these ailments without receiving any type of medical help or treatment that allows them to combat them”, reveals Dr. Rebecca García, CEO of Clínicas Doctor Life.
This natural stage of women develops between 45 and 55 years, and in Spain the average age at which it enters is 51 years. It is a natural biological process in which the ovaries stop producing female hormones (estrogen and progesterone) and also stop releasing eggs, which unbalances well-being and health, causing symptoms such as hot flashes, irritability, weight gain, dryness vaginal discharge, decreased sexual function and libido, and difficulty sleeping. And while menstruation is considered to have stopped for at least 365 days to claim menopause, symptoms can begin months or even years earlier.
The aging of the skin is considerable during this period: “On the one hand, women begin to lose collagen from the age of 20, but at this specific moment said loss becomes greater (increases up to 20%-30%), as well as glycosaminoglycans and water decrease. The decrease in estrogen accelerates the appearance of wrinkles as well as dryness, redness, acne and even hair on the cheeks, chin, neck and chest; as well as causing the dermis to become thinner and prone to bruises and tears”, explains Esperanza Sáenz, image manager at Nezeni Cosmetics.
Skin hydration, both facial and body, is essential. “On the face, apart from creams that contain hyaluronic acid, lipids and ceramides, more unctuous anti-aging references are necessary, which help combat loss of firmness, fill in wrinkles, unify the tone and provide luminosity”, says Rocío Escalante, head pharmacist of Arbosana Farmacia, who also advises not to forget sun protection, “always essential, but more so at this stage in which skin pigmentation, due to the passage of time and hormonal changes, is more common”. Another tip is to incorporate transforming and depigmenting active ingredients such as retinol, alpha hydroxy acids or glycolic acid into your facial routine. It is important to pay special attention to more sensitive areas such as the eye contour, neck, décolletage, hands and lips.
Hormone replacement therapy (HRT), always under prescription, relieves the symptoms of menopause, including loss of collagen, thickness, elasticity and moisture of the skin. But it’s not for everyone because it’s risky for women with a history of breast cancer, heart disease, stroke, or active liver disease. Another alternative is gestagen-free hormone therapy (TSEC). “Unlike classic hormone therapies, it acts selectively on the endometrium, which makes it possible to reduce those problems associated with this new stage and prevent the onset of other diseases such as osteoporosis,” says Dr. García. There is also bioidentical hormone therapy (BHRT), “with hormones of natural plant origin, which are designed to be biologically identical to those produced by the body itself,” concludes the expert.