This post is written in association with Epaderm as part of their Ambassador programme*
I have to admit that the menopause kind of crept up on me and caught me unawares. Before I knew it, I was in the midst of a mass of hormones and changes and I didn’t really think that they would affect me that much. Until they did.
The Menopause and me
Imagine the scenario. Having just come out the outside of a number of rounds of IVF, pre-eclampsia and then the hormones which being postnatal brings you, your body is then telling you that it is time to enter the next phase of being a woman. In amongst all of this, you are coping with a pandemic, supporting an ill partner, listening to the needs of a hormonal teen and parenting a threenager. Quite something, eh?!
It is no wonder my body has been put through its paces over the last few years. But, in the words of the great Tim Minchin, ‘it’s my body and I live in it’. With that in mind, I am well aware that I need to manage it a bit better than I do.
The Effects of the Menopause on me
Thanks to a combination of vitamins, I have started to get the hormonal issues under control. The physical effects of the menopause need a different management system and I have had to deal with a few.
Firstly, it has been a frozen shoulder. Again. I say again because I had a frozen left shoulder around 6 years ago. This time it is the right shoulder, as well as stiffness and pain I am also dealing with.
The other thing I have found is that my skin gets very dry. As a child I suffered from eczema which became more stress related as I got older. As a younger woman I always had combination skin but as I have got older, my eczema and dry skin has made a reappearance.
During the menopause, skin loses some ability to hold water, and this is more noticeable when the air is dry thanks to central heating during the winter months. On top of this, your skin becomes thinner, so it is important to use an emollient which is clinically proven to effectively relieve the symptoms of dry skin, including hydration. Your body also stops making as much collagen. You lose some fat under your skin and your skin’s elasticity drops.
How to overcome dry skin during the Menopause
Epaderm is an emollient designed by dermatologists to treat dry skin conditions and eczema, so it is perfect for women during the menopause. With the fact that my skin is now thinner, Epaderm has proven to be suitable for sensitive skin and free from many ingredients such as fragrances and sodium lauryl sulphate, both of which have been associated with skin irritation and dermatitis.
Along with repeated handwashing, soap can be too drying for mature skin. This is where Epaderm comes in handy for your hands – especially as I have increased the hand washing routine due to the pandemic.
I now have a routine where I regularly moisturise with the Epaderm ointment throughout the day and then use the Epaderm cream as a cleanser when I wash my hands.
Coming to terms with aging
I think I made my peace with aging years ago. I had never really seen it as a barrier until my body woke me up to the changes it is going through. Thanks to the support of solutions like Epaderm, the changes are made that bit easier.