Marla Ahlgrimm | Hormones and Skin

Marla AhlgrimmOur hormones play a crucial role in every aspect of our being. According to hormone specialist Marla Ahlgrimm, the endocrine system has its proverbial hand in every part of our physical and emotional health. Our skin is no different.

Q: Do hormones affect our skin appearance?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Absolutely. Most often, estrogen is the hormone you would think of when you think of skin health. While estrogen is typically thought of as a sex hormone, it also affects the hair and skin. As women age, their estrogen levels drop, which can make their skin look less plump and more wrinkled. During high-estrogen stages, such as pregnancy, a woman’s skin, specifically on her forehead, cheeks, and nose, may become darker than normal. This is a phenomenon known as melasma.

Q: What causes excess oil production?

Marla Ahlgrimm: While not always, excessively oily skin is often linked to an overabundance of testosterone. It is a common misconception that only men produce testosterone. Women’s bodies also produce testosterone, albeit in much smaller amounts. During menopause, the testosterone and androgen levels are thrown off balance, which may result in adult acne or skin oiliness.

Q: What causes skin dryness?

Marla AhlgrimmMarla Ahlgrimm: This could be caused by a number of factors, including a decrease in thyroid hormone. The thyroid, which is a small gland in the neck, produces two different types of hormone that affect everything from skin dryness to cholesterol levels.

Q: What triggers the increased skin inflammation in women over 40?

Marla Ahlgrimm: Waning estrogen levels may also be to blame here. As a woman enters menopause, she loses estrogen. Estrogen offers some protective and anti-inflammatory benefits for the skin. This is perhaps the reason why women’s skin appears drier and flushed more often than their child-bearing-aged counterparts.

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