Menopause Skin Irritations
Menopause in women
   Menopause Rash | Skin Disease


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Menopause is a condition when a woman ceases to ovulate, in other words, there is complete cessation of menstrual cycles. Menopause usually occurs in the age group of 45-55 years. In about 1% women, menopause may be reached before 40 years of age, known as premature menopause, or premature ovarian failure. Menopause is usually accompanied with a host of symptoms and allergies to various allergens are common.



Causes for rash during menopause: Menopause rash, a common feature of menopause, is primarily because the immune system of menopausal women is in a state of disorder. Changes in hormone balance are the root cause for the disarray in the immune system and this leads to susceptibility to allergens in the environment. Allergens are substances that are either consumed or inhaled, which may give rise to an allergic reaction in sensitized individuals. The person's immune system is responsible for recognizing these substances as allergens. The list of allergens is not restricted as individuals may turn out to be allergic to almost anything ranging from dust to foodstuff such as fish, groundnuts etc. Rash is one of the manifestations of allergic reactions.



Role of progesterone in menopause rash: Progesterone is the chief cause of allergy in menopause. Progesterone induces histamine release from basophiles either directly or by activation of mast cells. This brings about the allergy reaction. Laboratory investigations reveal elevated levels of IgE antibodies.

The allergic reactions range from rash to more severe forms like anaphylaxis. Skin rash though not extremely common, can present as a painful condition that requires medical attention. The severity depends on the level of exposure, type of allergen as well as the person's immune system.

Role of estrogen: Estrogen, yet another hormone that is responsible for menopause may cause pigmentation of the skin, seen as slight darkening of the skin. Estrogen, also responsible for weight gain can cause other effects such as dryness of the skin and in fewer cases skin plumpness. However, the link between estrogen and collagen is debatable. Sensitive skin may develop rash due to fluctuating estrogen levels.

Rash during Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT): Breaking out into skin rashes, while on HRT is due to the progestin found in HRT. Many experience an outbreak of acne. Acne is most likely due to androgen excess and should be treated with retinaic acid, a derivative of vitamin A. Seborrhea; flaky or itching skin is treated using topical progesterone based creams.
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