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Skin health and hormones

Understanding hormones is key to maintaining a healthy skin and an overall sense of well-being.

Aging is just a state of mind, or is it? Actually aging can be affected by hormone levels, whether low or high, our hormones affect our skin, hair and nails as we age.

"Fluctuating levels of hormones can have an impact on the skin, hair and nails that can be physically and emotionally challenging"
Dr Jaliman. dermatologist MD, FAAD, an assistant clinical professor at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York.

Skin health is important, the skin is our first line of defence against free radicals, UV radiation and all other environmental pollutants and toxins. When there is an internal problem our skin reveals symptoms of what may be occurring beneath the surface of the skin. Our hormones play a key role in the health and wellness of our skin, and are significant in their contribution to skin cell proliferation and the regeneration of the skin.

Beautiful glowing skin indicates that our endocrine system and steroid hormonal functions (among others) are operating well and is reflected in the health of our skin, which will be moist, dewy, elastic and clear. Some of the hormonal imbalance factors are skin pigmentation or discoloration; acne break-outs; dehydrated and itchy dry skin.

Most women are familiar with the common menopausal symptoms, such as hot flushes, however many are unaware of menopausal effects on the skin. Skin problems during menopause are closely linked with hormonal changes characteristic of this natural period of change. During menopausal years, several hormonal changes occur. The estrogen level in the body begins to lower and women will begin to notice a thinning of their skin and loss of elasticity. The skin also becomes drier during these years as the oil glands in the skin become less active.

Estrogen provides the skin with a number of benefits including improving inflammatory skin disorders and protecting against skin photo-aging from the sun. It has the ability to protect from free radical damage similar to antioxidants like vitamins C and E. Estrogens help to build up the dermis by increasing cell division and growth of the skin. They also hydrate the dermis and epidermis which makes the skin look fuller and reduces wrinkle depth. There are variations in skin thickness consistent with the variation in our hormones during the menstrual cycle. During menopause, as estrogen levels drop, your skin becomes thinner, drier and less firm with an increase in number and depth of wrinkles.

Progesterone is considered the hormone of wisdom. It tightens connective tissue by remodelling collagen, the tissue that supports our skin structure. Progesterone also stabilizes and regenerates the epidermis which keeps skin looking younger. On the other hand, testosterone is known as the hormone of power. It tightens skin structures, stimulates the breakdown of fat and strengthens the collagen strands that support the skin. This stabilizes the connective and fat tissues within the skin which creates a firmer looking skin.

So what can be done  to protect and improve our skin

Evaluate hormonal imbalances

Bioidentical hormone therapy has the power to reduce signs of aging that show on the skin by helping boost collagen production in the body. Collagen is the major player in skin elasticity and wrinkle formation is affected by your body's ability to produce and maintain your collagen structure. This is regulated by your hormones - in balance - estradiol, an estrogen hormone, progesterone, and testosterone (especially in men). Bioidentical hormone therapy helps promote beauty from the inside out.

Aesthetic procedures and treatments

These solutions can be incorporated to help soften the passage of time.

Use good dermaceutical skincare products

Because aging damaged skin cells develop deep within the skin and then grow to the surface, to improve and rectify these damaged cells, one needs to treat the skin at a deep level with Dermaceutical skincare products. Dermaceutical products would be more beneficial as they contain higher therapeutic doses of all nutrients and peptides required for skin rejuvenation.  Dermaceuticals are developed with the skills and quality control of pharmaceutical science.  Unlike cosmetic skincare, dermaceuticals don’t merely mask symptoms.  Rather, they treat the underlying causes of skin aging, wrinkles, sagging, age-spots and thinning. Use skin products that contain vitamins A and C for their antioxidant effects and creams with collagen help firm the skin. Use a high quality sunscreen daily or moisturizer with an SPF of at least 30.

A well-balanced diet

Supplemented with a quality multi-vitamin. The B vitamins are also good for healthy skin and eating a diet rich in “good fats” like omega-3’s and omega-6’s will help prevent signs of aging and wrinkles.

Lower your stress

Stress can lower your body's estrogen, progesterone and testosterone so try to unwind a little bit. Get some sleep. and of course, hydrate your skin by drinking lots of filtered water.

What should every woman know about her hormones?

Maintaining a healthy hormone balance, which includes natural estrogen, is absolutely vital for any woman. What successful hormone treatment depends on is the careful monitoring of all hormone levels and making sure that the replacement hormones are not foreign to the body. For more than a decade, integrative and preventive medicine specialists have been advocating this view, but still it seems as though it hasn’t quite filtered into conventional practice yet.

What would you say are the key hormones that affect women’s health?

Estrogen

  • Improves memory
  • Lowers Alzheimer’s risk
  • Lowers the risk of seizures
  • Boosts dopamine levels, which controls energy, motivation, drive and mood
  • Makes acetylcholine more available in the brain, a chemical needed for memory
  • Makes serotonin more available, which affects mood and relieves anxiety
  • Improves blood flow to the brain
  • Boosts norepinephrine levels, needed for energy and dealing with stress.

Progesterone

 

  • Keeps estrogen levels balanced, without interfering with blood flow to the brain, as synthetic “progestins” do
  • Improves sleep
  • A natural antidepressant
  • Improves libido
  • Prevents migraines and headaches
  • Helps protect nerve cells.

Testosterone

  • Boosts norepinephrine levels, a brain chemical needed for energy and dealing with stress
  • Improves memory
  • Improves emotional well-being, self-confidence, and motivation
  • Boosts libido.

Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA)

  • Better sleep
  • Boosts growth hormone levels in the brain
  • Improves your body’s response to sugar
  • Improves mood.

Pregnenolone

  • Improves the way your nerve cells work
  • Boosts your memory
  • Helps repair nerve damage
  • Better energy levels, both mentally and physically
  • Better sleep
  • Improves your ability to deal with stress
  • Reduces pain and improves your ability to deal with it
  • Quicker learning
  • Increases alertness
  • Better mood.

Melatonin

  • Improves mood and sleep
  • Boosts levels of the “sex hormones”, testosterone, estrogen and progesterone
  • Protects the brain
  • Lowers cortisol levels to help you cope with stress.

Cortisol

  • Influences the immune system
  • Affects how all of the other hormones work in the body
  • Affects how your body reacts to stress
  • Plays a role in improving sleep, mood and thought processes.

 

 

 

Progesterone

Keeps estrogen levels balanced, without interfering with blood flow to the brain, as synthetic “progestins” do

Improves sleep

A natural antidepressant

Improves libido

Prevents migraines and headaches

Helps protect nerve cells.

Testosterone

Boosts norepinephrine levels, a brain chemical needed for energy and dealing with stress

Improves memory

Improves emotional well-being, self-confidence, and motivation

Boosts libido.

Last Updated (Tuesday, 13 August 2013 14:42)

 
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