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Kathryn White

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Skin academy: hair, skin, hormones and menopause

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Medical journal article (review)


Eur J Dermatol. 2012 May-Jun;22(3):310-8. doi: 10.1684/ejd.2012.1692.

Skin academy: hair, skin, hormones and menopause – current status/knowledge on the management of hairdisorders in menopausal women.


Menopause is defined by 12 months of amenorrhea after the final menstrual period. The reduction in ovarian hormones and increased androgen levels can manifest as hair and skin disorders. Although hirsutism, unwanted facial hair, alopecia, skin atrophy and slackness of facial skin are common issues encountered by post-menopausal women, these problems receive very little attention relative to other menopausal symptoms. The visibility of these disorders has been shown to cause significant anxiety and may impact on patients’ self-esteem and quality of life, particularly given the strong association of hair and skin with a woman’s femininity and beauty, which is demonstrated by extensive marketing by the cosmetic industry targeting this population and the large expenditure on these products by menopausal women. The proportion of the female population who are in the post-menopausal age group is rising. Therefore, the prevalence of these dermatological symptoms is likely to increase. Current therapies aim to rectify underlying hormonal imbalances and improve cosmetic appearance. However, there is little evidence to support treatment for these disorders specifically in post-menopausal women. This review discusses the assessment and treatment of both the physiological and psychological aspects of hair and skin disorders pertinent to the growing post-menopausal population.

[PubMed – indexed for MEDLINE]