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Dry Skin and Hormonal Imbalance

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Hormonal imbalance has a great impact on the skin. Read the article to know more.

Written by

Dr. Dheeksha. R

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Shaikh Sadaf

Published At September 29, 2023
Reviewed AtMay 9, 2024

Introduction

Dry skin concern is usually high during cooler conditions and when there is reduced humidity. Finding the underlying cause of dryness is important to maintain the skin's moisture level. The skin naturally produces sebum, and oil maintains the moisture, hydrates, and protects the skin from external factors. Dryness is caused due to reduced production of sebum. Dry skin can be in different forms like tightness, patches, itchy skin, redress, cracks, or ashy tone. It is caused due to various conditions like climatic changes, frequent handwashing, medical conditions, and hormonal imbalance.

What Are Hormones?

Hormones are chemicals produced by glands that carry messages through the blood to organs and other tissues; these signals are required to instruct the body what to do and when to do it. They play a significant role in many bodily functions. The glands and tissue synthesizing and releasing hormones comprise the endocrine system.

Hormones Are Involved in Many Body Functions; Some Are:

  • Metabolism.

  • Homeostasis (proper internal balance).

  • Growth and development.

  • Sexual function.

  • Reproduction.

  • Sleep-wake cycle.

  • Mood.

What Is Meant by a Hormonal Imbalance?

Hormonal imbalance is caused due to alterations in one or more hormonal levels in the body. Any hormonal imbalance may result in different hormone-related conditions. Hormones are very important for many functions; too much or too little of certain hormones lead to significant changes in the body, and some may require treatment.

Some hormonal imbalance conditions may be long-term, and some may be temporary. Some conditions may require treatment, while others may not require treatment but may result in a negative impact on the quality of life.

What Are the Symptoms of Hormonal Imbalance?

Hormonal imbalances occur irrespective of gender. Some common symptoms of hormonal imbalance are:

  • Sudden weight gain/ loss.

  • Enhanced stomach issue.

  • Fatigue.

  • Skin dryness.

  • Weakness.

  • Increased urination.

  • Persistent thirst.

  • Body ache.

  • Hair fall.

  • Change in appetite.

  • Anxiety.

  • Vision issue.

  • Mood swings.

  • Infertility.

What Is Meant by Dry Skin?

Xeroderma, known as dry skin, is a condition caused by the skin not having enough moisture to maintain softness. Dry skin may or may not be itchy, but severe dry skin results in cracks and bleeding.

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Dry Skin?

  • Crack.

  • Rough.

  • Tight.

  • Flaking.

  • Scales.

  • Itchy.

  • Lighter or darker than the usual skin tone.

How Does Hormonal Imbalance Affect the Skin?

The skin is the largest organ of the body. The sebaceous gland produces a natural oil called sebum, secreted through pores in the skin. This keeps the skin healthy by retaining moisture. However, when there is a fluctuation of androgen, it results in excess sebum, leading to acne and inflammation.

Estrogen, a female sex hormone, plays a significant role in producing collagen, maintaining thick skin texture, hydration, and healing skin. But as they age, estrogen production reduces, which is why older women face skin issues like aging and sensitivity.

Some women experience skin issues before or during the menstruation cycle. The study shoe that it is caused due to reduced production of estrogen during menstruation. Among teens, premenstrual acne is very common. When the natural androgen and estrogen production reduces due to menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, or some medical condition like PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome), the skin gets affected. It shows signs of dryness, acne, wrinkle, and fine lines.

How Does Hormonal Fluctuation Cause Dry Skin?

In women, dry skin is the most common side effect of hormonal imbalance. This is because the production of the female sex hormones called estrogen can be altered due to menopause, the menstrual cycle, and pregnancy. When the level of estrogen hormone alters, it results in dry skin.

Estrogen is a female sex hormone that plays a significant role during puberty, pregnancy, and menopause. Alterations in these hormones can affect the skin and many other physiological functions. For example, estrogen synthesizes collagen, elastin, and hyaluronic acid, which plays a major role in skin moisture retention and elasticity. The reduction in the estrogen level during perimenopause, menopause, and the menstrual cycle leads to trans-epidermal water loss resulting in dehydration which may cause dry, rough, and wrinkled skin.

How Do Perimenopause and Menopause Cause Dry Skin?

Estrogen regulates collagen production, making the skin smooth and retaining hydration. As estrogen reduces with age, women in their 40s experience more dryness and trans-epidermal water loss, resulting in wrinkles in the lower eyelid area, the formation of static lines, and a change in the volume and elasticity of the skin. In addition, as the ability of the body to retain moisture reduces, the skin starts to appear thinner and drier.

How Does the Menstrual Cycle Cause Dry Skin?

The level of estrogen fluctuates during the menstrual cycle. In the first two days of the cycle, the skin looks dull and dry due to reduced estrogen and progesterone level. During this condition, the skin requires additional moisture to maintain balance.

What Are Phytoestrogens?

It is a plant-based diet, which is rich in natural phytoestrogen in high amounts, especially in soy. Phytoestrogen acts as a natural hormone replacement therapy, as they mimic the estrogen hormone.

How Can Dry Skin Be Taken Care Of?

There are three ways through which dry skin can be taken care, these are:

1. Cleansing:

A gentle, non-stripping face wash should be used in the morning and night. Harsh soaps should be avoided, which worsens skin dryness. Instead, a cleanser that helps nourish the skin with the required ingredients and helps maintain the skin’s pH balance should be chosen.

2. Serum:

Facial serums are made with highly concentrated formulations that produce targeted active ingredients. There are two forms of serums:

  • Water-based.
  • Oil-based.

The water-based serum is absorbed faster into the skin and acts as a delivery system for water-soluble ingredients like Hyaluronic acid. The oil-based serum absorbs slowly and acts best during the night; for people with dry skin, Hyaluronic acid and vitamin C acts best. Hyaluronic acid helps retain the skin's moisture, whereas vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps synthesize collagen.

3. Moisturize:

The application of moisture both morning and night helps to manage dry skin. A significant function of moisture is maintaining the skin barrier and regulating hydration levels. A few benefits of regular use of moisture are:

  • Decreasing trans-epidermal water loss.

  • Retaining protective skin barrier.

  • Enhancing the texture and appearance of the skin.

Conclusion

Hormones influence all the functions of the body, starting from physical development to a person’s mood swings. Therefore, these hormonal levels should be balanced as a preventive measure against health issues. Dry skin is one of the issues caused due to hormonal imbalance of androgen and estrogen. These hormonal levels fluctuate during the menstrual cycle, pregnancy, and menopause. Dry skin can be managed by balancing the hormonal level and through a skincare routine.

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Dr. Shaikh Sadaf
Dr. Shaikh Sadaf

Endocrinology

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hormonal imbalancedry skin
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