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Ann Endocrinol (Paris). 2006 Dec;67(6):575-80.

[Skin and menopause].

[Article in French]

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Service de Dermatologie, CHU Ibn Sina Rabat, Morocco.


Important changes related to declining level of several hormones occur during menopause: vasomotor instability, bone loss, anxiety, sexual dysfunction, skin aging... Our objective was a review of the literature concerning the histological and clinical changes seen in post menopausal skin, and also an analysis of the effect of hormonal replacement therapy in slowing down the aging process. Decline in progesterone increases the impact of androgen on the sebaceous glands and hair. Decreased estrogen slows down mitotic activity in the epidermal basal layer, reduces the synthesis of collagen and contributes to thickening of the dermo-epidermal junction. This hypoestrogenemia may be spontaneously attenuated by local synthesis of oestradiol in peripheral target tissues according to the intracrine process. This new hormonal pattern is associated with skin atrophy, hyperseborrhea, increased pilosity on the cheeks and upper lip, loss of scalp hair, increase in degeneration of elastic tissue, atrophy and dryness of the vaginal mucosa. Estrogen treatment in post menopausal women has been shown to increase collagen content, dermal thickness and elasticity. Biophysical properties are also significantly improved for the parameters reflecting hydration and sebum secretion. However, numerous side effects such as increased incidence of cancer and cardiovascular morbidity limit the use of this treatment. So non hormonal alternatives are proposed. Laser and lifting remain the most important options.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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