eISSN: 2299-0038
ISSN: 1643-8876
Menopause Review/Przegląd Menopauzalny
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vol. 6

The influence of estrogen on skin changing

Barbara Zegarska
Magdalena Woźniak

Przegląd Menopauzalny 2007; 4: 233–238
Online publish date: 2007/08/28
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The skin is one of the organs affected by sex hormones, with oestrogens produced in the granular cells of ovarian follicles having the strongest effect on what happens to the female skin. While the sex hormones operate mainly through the receptors for sex steroids, they can also merge with the target cell by a cell membrane bond. The number of receptors is different for different parts of the skin, but they are most abundant on the face and near the reproductive organs and lower limbs. They are found on the keratinocytes of the epidermis stratum basale, on melanocytes, dendritic cells and the endothelium of vessels, fibroblasts and macrophages. Apart from oestrogen receptors the skin also has androgen and progesterone receptors. Oestrogens affect all layers of the skin. The epidermis benefits from their stimulating effect on proliferation processes and keratinocyte differentiation; they help with the generation of keratohyalin granulations, stimulate fibroblasts for collagen production and have an effect on skin colouring. With the ovarian follicles becoming less active, oestrogen receptors are no longer excited in the skin and as a result negative menopausal symptoms appear. The epidermis suffers from atrophy, the boundary between the cuticle and epidermis is levelled off and the overall number of collagen and elastic fibres in the dermis drops following reduced fibroblast activity and synthesis. In clinical terms the skin is thin, inelastic, with parallel grooves and wrinkles of varying depth, and the skin becomes dry and at times even androgenic. Menopausal aging runs parallel to chronological and aging and photoaging. By applying active substances designed to slow down the menopausal aging of the skin, we can reduce the clinical symptoms and delay the process.

menopause, skin aging, oestrogen

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