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Maturitas. 1989 Dec;11(4):295-304.

Skin changes in menopause.

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1
Department of Dermatology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut.

Abstract

Skin signs and symptoms were examined in 46 menopausal women prior to estrogen replacement therapy. Several symptoms such as pruritus, bruising, dryness and thinning were seen more frequently in sun-exposed skin emphasizing the contribution of photoaging. At the end of a 6-mth treatment period, no significant difference was observed in the prevalence or severity of the cutaneous signs and symptoms when patients receiving transdermal 17 beta-estradiol (Estraderm) were compared with controls (the only exception was cutaneous flushing). Elastic fibers from sun-protected (buttock) skin of menopausal women were studied by light and electron microscopy. In 3 women (ages 30-37) with a history of premature menopause, the elastic fibers had several degenerative changes including coalescence of cystic spaces into lacunae, peripheral fragmentation, granular degeneration and splitting of the fibers into strands. Similar age-related ultrastructural changes are normally found in individuals that are at least 20 yrs older than these patients. These findings are suggestive of a relationship between premature aging of the dermal elastic fibers and estrogen deprivation.

PMID:
2693917
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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