As if dealing with the effects of ageing isn't enough, menopause comes rolling into the party and shakes things up even more.
No matter how positive your attitude towards menopause is, the symptoms are REAL. And it can suck.
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For those who skipped biology class, menopause is basically the winding down of the whole mensuration game, where you'll naturally stop getting your period.
It usually occurs between 45 and 55 years of age, but there's a whole heap of stuff that goes on in the lead-up.
We're talking about all that cool stuff like hot flashes, mood swings, night sweats and irregular periods. Fun! These are all signs that your ovaries are shutting up shop, producing less estrogen and going on a long-ass holiday.
This can be a little problematic, though - because estrogen does a lot of good things for your skin, like making sure it's healthy and strong. ARGH!
The result? Hormonal fluctuations can lead to annoying things like acne and breakouts - everything you do not need when you're already going through all that other sh*t above.
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"Acne during menopause is likely due to a drop in estrogen levels and/or an increase in our 'male' hormones known as androgens, such as testosterone," said dermatologist Cara McDonald from Complete Skin Specialists.
"Most menopausal women with acne lesions have 'normal' hormone levels but are overly sensitive to these hormones at the skin level."
Apparently things like genetics, stress, dietary changes, lack of sleep or exercise and other lifestyle changes can also be contributing factors. "These all have knock-on effects to our carefully balanced hormonal systems." Ugh.
What does menopausal acne look like?
"Although classic teenage acne is still closely related to changing hormones, it has some different features to 'hormonal acne'," said McDonald.
"This is a term we use to describe adult women who have persistent acne linked to their hormonal cycle or other hormonal changes including pregnancy and menopause."
So, yeah - hormonal acne and menopausal acne are the same kinda deal.
While teenage acne tends to pop up in the T-zone area (forehead, nose and chin), hormonal acne will usually affect the lower face and neck areas, especially the chin and jawline. Like a beard. A pimply beard. Yay!
Instead of the oily, congested skin associated with teenage acne, those suffering hormonal acne are likely to have dry and sensitive skin.