By Pallavi Khanna, MD, OBGYN 

For women, aging brings skin concerns like wrinkles, sagging, and dryness. Some of this can be blamed on changes associated with menopause. 

While some skin changes are inevitable as you age, there are things you can do to help. As a Menopause Society Certified Practitioner, I’m happy to say those steps can boost overall wellness, too! 

Aging causes skin to lose collagen, the proteins that give it structure and elasticity. This creates wrinkles and sagging and makes it harder to retain moisture. 

Meanwhile, menopause brings hormones into the mix. 

During menopause, estrogen levels drop. This causes classic menopause symptoms like hot flashes and vaginal discomfort. Dropping estrogen also contributes to a loss of collagen and skin thickness, and some women notice female pattern hair loss on the scalp or crown, leading to a visible widening of where their hair parts. 

All of this impacts body image, self-esteem, and quality of life. 

So, what can you do? 

In my Menopause Care Clinic, I help women navigate these concerns. I also host a Menopause Support Group at Regional One Health so women can learn from experts and each other. 

When it comes to skin health, lifestyle choices help. 

First, if you smoke, please quit! Smoking reduces blood flow to the skin’s surface, robbing it of oxygen and nutrients, which leads to damage. 

Second, reduce exposure to UV rays from the sun or tanning beds. UV exposure leads to lines, wrinkles, roughness, brown spots, and worse…it can also up your skin cancer risk. 

Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays, and wear a wide-brimmed hat and protective clothing. If you can, avoid being outside during peak sun hours in the late morning and early afternoon. 

Eating a well-balanced diet, drinking plenty of water, and getting enough sleep can also improve the skin’s appearance and health. You can improve your sleep hygiene by sleeping in a cool, dark room; wearing lightweight clothes; avoiding heavy meals and caffeine before bed; setting a regular sleep schedule; and trying things like medication, a hot bath or another calming routine. 

Along with lifestyle changes, there are products aimed at aging skin and hair. 

Moisturizers reduce water loss, causing the skin to look plumper or fuller. These products often include ingredients like hyaluronic acid or topical retinol that protect against signs of aging. For your hair, multivitamins and products with topical Minoxidil can be beneficial. 

I can connect patients with a dermatologist if they have severe skin conditions or concerns about skin cancer, like changes in the appearance of moles. I can also recommend specialists for severe hair loss — the issue may be a thyroid disorder or another chronic illness. 

Please don’t dismiss your concerns about skin and hair health as frivolous! These issues impact your quality of life and might signal other health problems. 

Seeing a provider with expertise in menopause can help you love the skin you’re in…and get you feeling better overall! 

As a Menopause Society Certified Practitioner, OB/GYN Dr. Pallavi Khanna has advanced education and training through the North American Menopause Society that gives her insight and expertise in providing evidence-based care for menopausal women. For appointments at our East Campus, 6555 Quince Rd., call 901.515.3100. To learn more about her Menopause Support Group, visit