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BlogrollHormonesWomen's Health

Skin Health and Hormones

By March 24, 2018 No Comments
Woman with healthy skin from eating healthy

 Want healthy, youthful skin?  Hormonal balance is a must!

There are many factors important in keeping your skin healthy at all ages:  a diet rich in fruits and vegetables, drinking lots of water, and regular exercise.  Important factors you should avoid include sun damage, smoking, sugar and processed foods.  But did you know that there are also hormones that can affect your skin?

Estrogen

Estrogen has many important effects on your skin.  It retains moisture to prevent dryness, and helps maintain collagen and elasticity, to prevent fine lines and wrinkles.  It also helps to maintain the thickness of your skin, to prevent “crepey” skin.  There are more estrogen receptors in the skin of your face than on other parts of your body, so your face can show more obvious signs of aging with low estrogen levels. 

Estrogen replacement can increase your skin thickness and elasticity, increase collagen production and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.  If you are post-menopausal, you may notice significant improvements in your skin, including a healthier glow, when your estrogen levels are restored.   You can learn more about estrogen replacement here.

Testosterone 

Testosterone is commonly thought of as the male hormone, but women have testosterone too.   This hormone can cause skin problems when it is too low OR too high! 

When testosterone levels are low,  skin tends to become thinner, droopier and more “crepey”.  Testosterone adds some oil to the skin, so loss of testosterone can cause aging skin to be more dry.

On the other hand, excess testosterone can cause excessively oily skin and adult acne, especially along the chin and jaw.

Progesterone

Progesterone is one of the hormones that regulates the menstrual cycle.  It also helps maintain skin thickness and elasticity.  Progesterone reduces some the negative effects of testosterone on the skin, so a lack of progesterone can worsen the effects of excess testosterone.

Hypothyroidism

Hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) is often associated with dry skin.  Many other skin symptoms are also seen:  pale skin, dry bumps on the upper arms, puffiness around the eyes, scalp hair loss, loss of the outer third of the eyebrow,  dry and brittle hair.   

Cortisol 

Cortisol is your main stress hormone.  Stress has been associated with skin problems like acne breakouts and thin skin.  Since cortisol regulates your immune system, stress can exacerbate rashes such as psoriasis and eczema, which are due to immune system problems.  There is actually a new area of study called psychodermatology looking at the links between skin health and emotional stressors. 

As you can see, there are many ways in which hormones affect your complexion.  If you are having skin issues and feel that hormones may be part of the problem, please give us a call!  704-752-9346 or email us at questions@signaturewellness.org.  You can find more information at www.signaturewellness.org

Yours in health,

 

Dr Deb Matthew, MD