Dermatologists say skin and other concerns often come up when they talk with female patients in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond who are preparing to have skin rejuvenation procedures. They’ll share a laundry list of typical perimenopausal and menopausal symptoms, from dry skin to lack of sleep.
So, for the last decade, doctors have added a bioidentical hormone treatment component to their practice. Bioidentical hormone treatment might start with the goal of tightening and thickening aging skin, but also offers a host of other benefits, including better mood, improved sleep, and much more.
Doctors have more happy patients doing HRT than regular dermatology. It’s an unmet need. Patients tell me their lives have been changed by bioidentical hormones. The three reasons to do bioidentical hormones are for disease prevention, to look better, and to feel better.
Do you offer hormone replacement therapy in your practice?
Diet and exercise play an important role, obviously. However, there is no treatment or regimen that will improve health, wellness, aesthetics, and overall well-being as well as replace and optimize hormones that decline with age.
Bioidentical Hormones and Skin
Several studies suggest there are benefits from using bioidentical hormones to alleviate symptoms of dry, itchy, thin, and fragile skin, as these hormone treatments can increase skin hydration and reduce skin atrophy, according to a review published in January 2019 in the Dermatology Online Journal.
There is a number of hormones that tighten and thicken the skin. As one ages, collagen is lost in the skin, which affects skin thickness, texture, and hydration. Dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), testosterone, estradiol (estrogen), and the thyroid all affect the integrity and health of the skin.
DHEA. DHEA, which patients can buy in topical or oral form over the counter, has been shown in studies to thicken and tighten skin and in a case report in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology to help prevent tears in atopic skin.
Usually, the DHEA dosage is about 10 mg for women and 25 to 50 mg for men.
However, this is where the expertise of the clinician comes into play, as a doctor will adjust doses of the pharmaceutical hormones based on serum levels, symptoms, and personal desires.
Testosterone. Testosterone, in cream or pill form, is by prescription and can improve skin health and appearance.
Testosterone cream improves skin tightening and skin elasticity. It also not only thickens skin but increases [the ability to develop] muscles. But it can result in acne at high doses.
Testosterone is a tissue-building, fat-melting, and aesthetic hormone. It is the best hormone for maintaining that youthful appearance. It also provides the best effect of maintaining strength and energy. Without testosterone, exercise will show little benefit in maintaining muscle and metabolism. Add testosterone to the mix and that is where the fat-burning aesthetic benefits of exercise are maximized.
People who are on testosterone always feel better. Their moods are better. Testosterone also helps decrease osteoporosis risk.
The health benefits of hormone replacement
Estrogen. Estrogen influences the skin also. And applying estrogen cream improves wrinkles. The dermatologic literature is full of studies demonstrating the benefits of estrogen on skin thickness, hydration, laxity, and hydration. As women go through menopause, they all notice changes in their skin that were previously not evident. Doctors emphasize the need for maintaining adequate estradiol (estrogen) levels for maintaining youthful skin.
Although most women have normal thyroid levels, the levels of the thyroid hormone decrease with age. Thyroid hormone deficiency can cause dry skin and hair loss and getting patients to levels in the high-normal (optimal) range can improve skin and hair, as well as lower weight.
Thyroid. The thyroid also affects the skin, but its biggest benefit is as a metabolic hormone that improves metabolism and burns fat. As a woman’s thyroid levels fall with age, she experiences an increase in visceral and subcutaneous fat that is difficult to remove.
Progesterone. Progesterone can improve skin, sleep, and anxiety. Progesterone is also important to women’s health. It is synergistic with estrogen.
Doctors make sure that women understand that progesterone can be beneficial and safe and the bioidentical hormones available today are not the synthetic hormone (Provera) that was used in the past.
Other Hormones. At times, a doctor will recommend other hormones, including melatonin to help with sleep. Vitamin D is also a hormone and can improve immunity and skin. Pregnenolone helps with cognition. A doctor might use metformin for weight reduction, but it also has a positive effect on high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Patients take most hormones as pills, which is especially good for preventing disease.
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