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Estrogens-The Skin Connection

 

It is often noticed that after the menopause women begin to age faster. Wrinkles spread rapidly, skin quickly loses elasticity and smoothness. To a large degree this seems to result from the decline in estrogen levels after the menopause. Of all hormones that decline with age, estrogens have the most dramatic effect on the skin. Estrogens are known to protect women from heart disease, and now it seems that they also slow down skin aging. Several studies indicate that postmenopausal women on estrogen replacement therapy develop less wrinkles and have better skin texture and elasticity than those not taking estrogens.

While going on estrogen replacement is a complex decision requiring the analysis of one's medical history, women after menopause can get the skin benefits of estrogen with topical preparations. Dr. Schmidt and colleagues, from the University of Vienna Medical School, Austria, studied the effects of topical estrogen treatment with 0.01% estradiol or 0.3% estriol in 59 postmenopausal women. After 6 month of treatment, a marked improvement in skin elasticity and firmness was noted; wrinkle depth and pore size decreased by over sixty percent in both estradiol and estriol groups. Skin moisture and collagen synthesis increased significantly.

Many experts believe that estrogen creams could also improve the signs of aging in premenopausal women and in men although further studies are needed to confirm that.

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