During perimenopause, levels of estrogen and progesterone start to decrease rapidly, which can result in a myriad of symptoms like hot flashes, loss of libido, irregular menstrual cycles, fatigue, sleeping issues and weight gain. “The decrease in estrogen and progesterone also affects the skin,” says Greensburg, PA plastic surgeon Jeffrey Antimarino, MD. “Studies show that women can lose up to 30 percent of the collagen in their skin during the first few years of menopause and will continue to lose one to two percent each year after.”
One of the often-overlooked treatments that can help improve not just lines and wrinkles, but also mood, skin quality and some of the more common symptoms of “the change” are injectables. Beyond rejuvenating the appearance, neurotoxins and fillers can also counteract some of these changes that seem to come on faster than we’d like.
Rapid Aging Changes
According to Southlake, TX and Monroe, LA dermatologist Janine Hopkins, MD our skin is very dependent on estrogen for hydration, elasticity and firmness. “We know that those first five years of estrogen deficiency can lead to a 30 percent reduction in collagen that results in thin, wrinkled and dry skin.”
As the skin loses laxity and the face loses youthful fat, injectables can help refresh your skin and facial volume. “Injectables can be an excellent noninvasive option to help regain some of the fullness and skin integrity in many areas of the face, including the cheeks and lower jawline,” says Dr. Antimarino.
Dr. Hopkins adds that she often uses Restylane Lyft, Restylane Defyne and the Revance RHA collection of fillers as part of her “Trinity of Anti-Aging” to re-volumize the face and reduce skin laxity. “Sculptra also plays a significant role in my practice as a bio-stimulant to recreate a foundation of collagen in the skin,” she notes.
Many menopausal women also have hormone-related headaches, as migraines can become more severe and frequent at the onset of perimenopause as hormone levels rise and fall unevenly. “Beyond just treating lines formed by excessive muscle function such as the forehead, between the eyebrows, and crow’s feet, neurotoxins can also be used to treat patients who have certain forms of headaches or suffer from grinding and clenching their teeth,” adds Dr. Antimarino. The wrinkle-relaxing injection also works for migraine headaches because it blocks chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from your brain.
Excessive Sweating from Hot Flashes
“Estrogen is also a neuro-endocrine hormone, so the loss of estrogen that occurs with menopause triggers hot flashes, night sweats and increases a woman’s risk of forgetfulness, foggy thinking and dementia,” shares Dr. Hopkins.
“We can use neurotoxins to treat hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, of the underarms and hands,” says Dr. Antimarino. “The botulinum toxin injections block the nerve signals responsible for sweating, stopping the sweat glands from producing too much sweat.”
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