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Rosacea and Menopause

Do you remember someone once telling you that, after puberty, your skin would clear up? How wrong they were! Unfortunately, for many people, even after teenage pimples have calmed down, they still suffer from skin irritation caused by eczema, sun damage, or rosacea. Much like with puberty, menopause is a period of significant hormonal changes, which can affect the way your skin looks and feels.

While you may have already heard of eczema, rosacea is a lesser-known issue. It’s surprisingly common and easily treated, so it’s worth investigating whether or not this is the cause of your skin complaints.

What Is Rosacea?

Rosacea is technically a kind of acne, but it’s a far cry from the acne you might remember from your teen years. While it may result in some bumps that resemble pimples, these are not pimples and should not be treated as such. Only a dermatologist can help you effectively treat rosacea and determine what your triggers are.

Rosacea is an inflammatory skin disease. But that makes it sound much worse than it is. It’s widespread and affects about 16 million people in the United States! Everyone has cytokines and chemokines in their bodies, which are proteins that affect inflammation. If someone has too many of either of these, rosacea (and other skin conditions) are more likely to occur. These cytokines and chemokines tend to cause redness, swollen blood vessels, and the little pus-filled bumps that look like acne. Experts haven’t been able to pinpoint a specific cause as to why these proteins start overproducing, or even if they are the underlying problem rather than simply a result. Still, they do know certain factors can affect and irritate the condition.

One of the most common triggers for rosacea is prolonged exposure to heat or cold.  Another is hormonal changes such as those experienced during the menopause.

Why Does Menopause Affect Rosacea?

Rosacea most often affects women between the ages of 30 and 60, which includes the average age most women begin menopause in the US.

Unfortunately, the hot flashes that come with menopause may be enough to trigger a rosacea flare-up. Additionally, stress and anxiety are also factors contributing to rosacea. Feelings of anxiety are often elevated during menopause because hormones are constantly fluctuating. So, on top of the hot flashes which exacerbate rosacea, you may also experience anxiety-induced rosacea. This can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t need to be. With proper treatment from a dermatologist, rosacea can be treated; however, you must talk to a specialist as soon as you suspect you may have rosacea.

Treating Rosacea During Menopause

You might be inclined to harken back to your pubescent days and tell yourself that the rosacea will go away after menopause. This could and sometimes does happen, but it is more likely that the rosacea will become worse, thicken your skin, and be much more challenging to treat. For this reason, it’s incredibly important to set up an appointment with your dermatologist when you notice the first signs of rosacea. While a cure does not exist for rosacea, it can be successfully treated by a good dermatologist.

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