Hot flashes are one of the many un-easing symptoms of menopause. In this article, our dermatologist Karolina Kopeć explains the underlying reasons that cause hot flashes and gives you tips on how to counter them. Basically, your brain is telling your body that it’s very hot when it’s not, therefore your body reacts accordingly: sweating, feeling uncomfortable, insomnia… So the idea is to tell your body that it’s not that hot in here and make it cool down. Easy to say huh? Yes, we know, we’ve been there too.
Do hot flashes and other symptoms of Menopause impact your skin?
Yes, certainly. As mentioned above menopause is a very complicated process that can affect many aspects of general health and everyday life.
In a nutshell, hot flashes occur due to a reduction in estrogen production that in turn causes thermoregulatory and vascular dysfunction. They are characterised by a sudden feeling of warmth, usually most intense over the upper part of your body. Your skin gets red, as if you're blushing, commonly with sweating at the same time – we know, nice combo. Women can also experience tachycardia and get chills as the hot flash lets up. They have different frequency and intensity.
Night sweats can sometimes cause chronic insomnia. What’s that have to do with my skin, you ask? Well, a lack of sleep or bad quality sleep can affect the natural biological processes like skin barrier’s function that cannot provide suitable level of hydration and regeneration.
These biological disturbances can have negative influence on skin quality causing dull, uneven complexion, dryness, redness, sensitivity of the skin, fine lines and sagging.
Hence, it's essential that you take proper care of your skin before going to bed as night time is crucial for its wellbeing!
Factors that may increase risk of hot flashes include: smoking and obesity
Prevention of high frequency and intensity of hot flashes consists of:
- coffee, tea, alcohol reduction
- giving up smoking
- keeping the room cool
- if you feel a flash coming on, spray your face with cool thermal water or use a cold gel pack (available in pharmacies)
- wearing loose light cotton or silk clothes
- having a cool shower or bath instead of a hot one
Skin changes during menopause are as noticeable as hot flashes and can affect your self-confidence, but fortunately the above preventative measures can keep these symptoms and changes at bay.
Key elements to remember about menopause hot flashes
1. Some factors increase risks of hot flashes: smoking, drinking alcohol, obesity...
2. Some Menopause symptoms can trigger other symptoms: for example hot flashes can cause biological disturbances (e.g: insomnia) that in turn cause skin issues (e.g: dryness, sensitivity of the skin...).