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The Menopause Itch! – Types of Itch and how to prevent it

Updated: Sep 18, 2021

Estrogen plays a vital role in maintaining skin health. Sadly, with it gone, goes your skin health too! This blog will explain the cause of Itching, or pruritus, during menopause. I am not only here to explain why, but also here to give you a few solutions and possible preventive measures to be taken before it sets in.

Why the itch?

Levels of estrogen during menopause reduces. Estrogen is important to maintain healthy skin, it helps the skin stay moisturized by stimulating the production of natural oils and collagen. Collagen is essential to maintain healthy skin elasticity. With lesser natural oil and collagen during menopause, the skin becomes drier and thinner hence causing ‘the menopause itch’.

Types of itching!

That’s right there are two types of menopause itch.

Skin Itch: Since the skin is less elastic and dry during menopause, women are more sensitive to products such as soap and detergents causing irritation, inflammation, and itchiness. Some people experience itching in addition to tingling, prickling, or numbness of the skin. This is known as paresthesia. Others experience a rare type of paresthesia known as formication during menopause. Formication is having the sensation of insects crawling under the skin.

Genital Itch: Vaginal itching is called vulvar pruritus or atrophic vaginitis; this issue arises when the level of estrogen reduces in blood making this one of the common symptoms of menopause.

How to prevent ‘the menopause itch’

Avoid hot baths or showers: warm baths usually strip the skin of their natural moisture

For more details, check out this article on Bariatric Surgery during Menopause

Pat yourself dry after bathing: rubbing the skin may cause further irritation hence always pat your skin dry rather the rubbing

Avoid scratching: I know easier said than done, however, it’s good to apply a moisturizer in order to avoid scratching the itch.

Use scent-free skincare: Scented skincare may contain chemicals that further irritate the skin hence should be avoided, preferentially usage of organic products is better.

Wear soft, loose fabrics: clothes that are not clinging to the skin are likely to keep the skin irritation-free and hence help with ‘the menopause itch.

Avoid strong sunlight: Harsh UV rays can cause the skin to irritate, it is always good to use sunscreen and even keep it handy for reapplication when required.

Stay hydrated: in order to keep your skin healthy, hydration is possibly the most important lifestyle change you need to make.

If you still experience extreme itching skin, which does not ease with the above preventive measures, it’s important to seek medical advice in order to ease the itch. These irritations and skin inflammation tend to be easy with time, so it’s important for you to form a skincare routine and take precautions and sail through ‘the menopause itch’ like it's nothing!


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