Do you notice yourself itching a lot since you’ve entered perimenopause? Maybe your itching is accompanied by other midlife skin problems such as menopause rashes, eczema or hives. Maybe menopause itching alone has caused fatigue, distraction and annoyance during your daily life.
Definition of Menopause Itching
During perimenopause, many women experience itchy skin due to hormone declines in the body. Clinically known as “pruritis,” itchiness can also relate to other menopause skin disorders, including rashes, hives, formication (a “crawling sensation” on the skin), eczema, or paresthesia (“electric shock” or numbing sensations).
Symptoms of Menopause Itching
Menopause itching may also occur in secondary situations, accompanied by menopause rashes, skin flushing, eczema or other skin issues. Women may experience itchiness throughout the body, especially on their elbows or on the face, the "T-Zone", the skin along the forehead, nose and chin, can also be susceptible to itching and flaking. Menopause itching can also affect the rest of the body, such as the chest, abdomen, extremities and back. In some cases, women can even experience itching under their fingernails due to menopause.
- Hot flushes
- Cracking and peeling skin
- Itching under nails
- Skin infections
- Crawling sensations
Causes of Menopause Itching
Itching skin during menopause can stem from a host of causes. In many cases, menopause skin problems take place because of hormonal imbalances that occur within the body during menopause. Estrogen levels drop during menopause, causing a decline in skin collagen, elasticity and tissue strength. Additionally, the body loses ability for moisturization and produces fewer natural oils.
Despite the fact that for most women in their 40s and 50s, menopause is often the primary cause for itchy skin, other possibilities exist and should be discussed with your personal physician. Issues such as hypothyroidism, diabetes, skin cancer, Herpes Simplex Virus, or opiate abuse and withdrawal can all lead to intense itching, as can allergies, vitamin deficits, nutritional issues, skin cancer and infections.
Menopause Itching Treatments
There are a host of menopause skin treatments, many of which are topical and can be purchased over-the-counter or obtained by prescription through your dermatologist. In some women, allergy medications containing antihistamines, may improve menopause itching. In others, hormonal balancing may be more appropriate. This is available through pharmaceutical therapies such as hormone replacement therapy (HRT) or through natural menopause solutions that restore the body’s own ability to regulate hormones.
Menopause Itching FAQ
FAQ: Can menopause itching be alleviated by allergy medicine?
A: Sometimes, during menopause, immunity can be lowered due to estrogen loss. In some cases, this can lead to worsening allergies – ones that already existed for a woman. If your allergies predated menopause, you may want to speak with your physician about increasing your allergy medication dosage. Otherwise, while itching skin can come from a variety of sources, menopause is likely the culprit.
Risks of Menopause Itching
Fervent scratching of itchy skin can lead to a host of problems, including infection and scarring. Menopause itching can also lead to interrupted sleep schedules at night, causing insomnia or other sleep disorders.