Top tips to help with sensitive skin and vaginal dryness in menopause from the best underwear to the right treatments
Dry skin, oh the joy of menopause! With our decreasing levels of oestrogen one of the results is that our body is less able to produce and hold onto moisture. We go from the oily T zone and greasy hair of puberty to parched, dry skin appearing everywhere ... on our face, back, shoulders, legs and vagina and of course our nails and hair too. My problem area has been my shoulders, tops of my arms and my legs. But everyone is different and the severity varies as well.
Even if you have never been prone to dry skin or eczema, the changing hormone levels of menopause can lead to many women developing eczema for the first time in their life. Psoriasis is another dry skin condition that might flare up at this time, hot flushes, anxiety and stress can call contribute and make it worse.
Some of these dry skin conditions can be really debilitating, anyone who looked after a baby with eczema will understand just how sore the skin can get and that it is very difficult to get it under control and soothe the skin. My son suffered and I had to be really mindful of choosing the best washing powders and dressing him in the right clothing.
So what can we do to help ease these menopausal symptoms? Our quality of life is important and we should not suffer in silence, there are lots of treatment options available as well as products and underwear that can be a much more comfortable choice for postmenopausal women.
Below I am discussing some of the dry skin conditions to look out for and how best to treat them ...
This is a sponsored blog post.
Vaginal dryness (or vaginal atrophy) is the thinning, drying and inflammation of the vaginal tissues and comes under the category of the Genitourinary Symptoms of Menopause (GSM). It is thought that it affects up to 1 in 3 women during perimenopause and it can cause from mild to extreme discomfort.
It is one of the symptoms that we don't want to talk about and still far too many women are embarrassed to go to their GP for help. It can cause a lot of stress and include symptoms such as painful sexual intercourse or burning when going for a wee. If left untreated it can lead to even more severe problems like frequent urinary tract infections and vagainal infections.
Whilst symptoms of vaginal dryness can affect younger women it is more common in menopause but other causes include breastfeeding, different types of medication, a stressful lifestyle and sometimes during your menstrual cycle.
Vaginal dryness is a distressing condition and can impact every aspect of a woman's daily life including what underwear or clothes she chooses to not being able to exercise, or sit comfortably.
How to treat vaginal discomfort
The good news is that the vaginal discomfort from vagainal atrophy can be treated and you can get relief, but you must ask for help.
Read the excellent, honest and often funny book by Jane Lewis 'Me and My Menopausal Vagina' and look up the resources on her website . Plus there is also a wealth of useful information in The Menopause Support Network where women share their personal experiences and offer support and advice to each other.
Then see your GP for a proper diagnosis! Or Menopause specialist but don't accept no for an answer. The best treatment option is to increase your oestrogen through Hormone Replacement Therapy or if you are unable to or don't want to take HRT you can still use a localised oestrogen cream (now available OTC in UK pharmacies) because they are lower doses and are only used where needed but will make all the difference to your comfort.
Lifestyle changes to help with vaginal dryness
There are also some very simple lifestyle changes you can make to help with vaginal atrophy symptoms:
I understand that women with severe symptoms can really have their personal relationships impacted but remember there is help and support out there and an understanding husband or partner can make all the difference - talk to them. Vaginal atrophy whilst distressing is treatable and you can get over it and live a full life.
YES offer the purest range of personal water-based lubricants and vaginal moisturisers available. Their vaginal moisturisers will replenish moisture levels and provide relief as well as improving vaginal comfort. Use as part of your every day self-care routine. They have a range of different personal lubricants and even a stimulant oil. Don't be tempted to use K-Y Jelly or Petroleum Jelly, please buy a specific product designed to look after your vaginal ph and sensitive skin.
Other dry skin conditions
Eczema in menopause - we tend to associate eczema with babies and young children but in fact it can develop at any age or you may have had eczema in childhood but find that it returns in later life. Because our skin gets much drier and thinner in menopause we are more prone to eczema but it can also be because of a stressful life event wrecking our hormonal balance and because our collagen is decreasing by about 2% every year, collagen is responsible for aiding the skin's resilience and elasticity. Do seek help from your doctor and get advice on using emollients and a steroid cream for particularly nasty flare-ups and make sure you eat a well-balanced diet with plenty of water.
Psoriasis in menopause - psoriasis is a skin condition that causes patchy areas of skin to form scales and become very dry and because of falling oestrogen and the start of hot flushes and night sweat you may see a worsening of any existing psoriasis or indeed you might be affected for the first time in your life.
Dry skin on the body - it is important to make sure you always exfoliate any dry patches before applying a body moisturiser. Ideally use a good exfoliator in the shower 2-3 times per week - if your skin is particularly sensitive then only exfoliate once a week. Alternatively use a good body brush before you get into the shower. I love the Super Smooth Resurfacing Body Lotion from Tropic as it exfoliates and resurfaces using plant based AHAs to dissolve away dead skin cells. My absolute favourite body oil is from a small business Desavory, I was gifted a bottle last year and my blogger friend said she loves it and has it on regular repeat order! I was sceptical and it is more costly but I agree with her, I love it so much, it has a gorgeous scent and is very effective at adding moisture into my skin.
Comfortable allergy friendly lingerie from Juliemay
Whether you have sore, dry skin from eczema or psoriasis or vaginal dryness that is causing you to feel uncomfortable, the lingerie from Juliemay will support you. Their cotton and silk lingerie collection is not only pretty it is also scientifically tested and approved by qualified dermatologists to be allergy-friendly, antibacterial and hypoallergenic. Juliemay use the best quality natural fabrics to provide a comfortable and reassuring fit.
Allergy friendly benefits
Pima cotton is one of the best cottons in the world and because of it's extra long fibre it provides incredible softness. Pima cotton is tightly woven so it is both soft and breathable to wear - ideal if you have symptoms of vaginal atrophy or sore irritated dry skin.
You might wonder isn't all cotton the same? No, they aren’t. The longer the staple of the cotton, the better the quality. Juliemay organic Pima cotton measures about 2 inches in length while ordinary cotton is estimated to be 0.75 inches long. Organic Pima cotton’s softness is unmatched.
Pure silk is processed using mainly water, steam and heat and no harsh chemicals which can often cause irritations to sensitive skin. Pure silk also repels the major sources of allergens like mould, fungus and dust mites. Pure silk is cool to touch and ideal in warmer weather and as it allows the skin to breath it is perfect for sensitive skin - and those that have hot flushes!
The silk inner layer benefits include:
I am wearing the Debbie Lace Organic Cotton and Silk Plunge Bra with the Debbie Cotton and Silk Brief both from Juliemay.
The bra is non-padded but with plenty of support, it is incredibly soft and has a half cup with lovely lace detailing. It is made from highly breathable silk and Pima cotton so it is hypoallergenic and it has wide, non-slip straps and there is no exposed rubber to cause any irritation.
The matching briefs are also very soft and comfortable to wear, they have the pure silk inner crotch and are made from soft Pima cotton, easy to wash and dry, they make a beautiful lingerie set.
Juliemay are proud of their ethical, fair trade and sustainable standards and will always strive to produce their lingerie to be as sustainable as possible. They have a range of sustainable projects that they support including Eden Reforestation Projects, Plastic Bank Recycling and Improved Cook Stoves in Malawi.
They have a fantastic range of allergy-friendly bras and briefs which includes sports bras, front fastening bras and lots of colours including nude, black and red. And don't forget to check out their fitting tips, but they very flexible with their return service and are working on offering a free return label option soon.
I love beautiful, matching lingerie and it is encouraging to see Juliemay offering such a fabulous choice of allergy-friendly styles.
Disclaimer: this blog post is sponsored by Juliemay Lingerie, the lingerie set I am wearing was gifted to me and my links are affiliate links. All words and opinions are my own.
Welcome to Fifty & Fab, a lifestyle blog to inspire you. I am a blogger with a passion for writing about health, menopause, fitness, beauty and style with a focus on the over 50's.
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Hi, I’m Michelle and my blog Fifty & Fab is all about my journey into and through my 50s. I started this blog in 2016 with the purpose of helping other women at this stage of life. I’m delighted that my blog has grown to over 13k visitors per month. Visit my Work with Me page and request my Media Kit for details of product reviews, blogging services and social media content creation.
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