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Menopause is a fact of life for every woman. It signals the end of the fertile phase of a woman’s life and affects the entire cascade of her reproductive functioning. This major physiological event usually has some effect on almost every aspect of a woman’s body—including her skin. The transition is more difficult for some than for others. Women generally begin to experience dryness and a loss of skin elasticity, due to the slowing of collagen production, but many women also experience symptoms of rosacea or acne.
There is a strong need for more consumer education on the effects of menopause on womens’ skin, particularly conditions such as rosacea and acne. Because there is some denial surrounding the subject, women around the globe have been slow to discuss and seek out information beyond their circle of friends. Historically, information was gleaned from close friends, a mother or an aunt, the occasional article or discussion that took place in a physician’s office or with a pharmacist. Increasingly, however, the topic is being covered in more mainstream media.
There are now more than 6,000 book titles that include the word menopause. For the modern woman, the Internet continues to be a key resource in helping increase her knowledge about menopause—with Web sites by organizations such as the North American Menopause Society (NAMS). These resources are creating ways for today’s women to experience and share their experiences of menopause in a vastly different way than their mothers did.
NAMS alone reports approximately five million hits each month on its Web site. More recently, consumer blogs and word-of-mouth have been gaining popularity as an objective platform for information and anonymous discussion. By the time a woman reaches the store, she oftentimes has a preconceived notion about what product she’ll buy.
Based on a global research study conducted by ACNielsen on consumer attitudes towards aging, women are quick to embrace the idea that 50 is the new 40. This may be one reason some women are in denial in recognizing that their skin conditions, particularly rosacea and acne, could be menopause-related. Some women think that their symptoms are genetic or a result of ill health and do not understand that this is part of the menopausal journey.