We could possibly prevent the aging of the skin

Estrogen and skin aging

The decrease in estrogen after menopause accelerates the aging of the skin. This can be counteracted by taking estrogen. However, estrogen therapy increases the risk of breast and cervical cancer. Phytoestrogens, which are found in soybeans, for example, can possibly compensate for this deficiency. It is unclear which estrogen-like substances can be used without risk.

After menopause, the skin ages

During menopause, the production of estrogen in the ovaries stops. Estrogen is not only important for fertility, it also affects the brain, bones and skin, for example. The decrease in estrogen is associated with osteoporosis and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. The decrease in estrogen also leads to accelerated skin aging: the skin becomes thinner, the collagen and elasticity of the skin decrease, wrinkles increase and dry skin often occurs.

Ingesting estrogen prevents skin aging

Studies show that the decrease in collagen in women is not so much related to age as it is to the decrease in estrogen. It has also been found that ingestion of estrogen increases collagen and counteracts skin thinning. And skin elasticity also increases after ingestion of estrogen by women going through menopause. Despite the benefits that estrogen offers, taking it is not always a good decision because estrogen therapy increases the risk of breast or uterine cancer.

Possible link between estrogen and skin cancer and hyperpigmentation

Estrogen appears to affect the skin in other ways as well. The fact that two forms of skin cancer (basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma) occur less frequently in women is attributed by the authors of this article to the different estrogen levels in women and men. However, it also appears that estrogen increases the risk of hyperpigmentation. Hyperpigmentation occurs in pregnant women (melasma) and is related to the use of estrogen-containing contraceptives or estrogen-containing creams.

Phytoestrogens

Certain plants produce substances that have properties comparable to those of estrogens, so-called phytoestrogens. The ingestion of phytoestrogens (for example from soybeans) could possibly reduce osteoporosis. Incorporating phytoestrogens into the diet could therefore be a good option for people with an estrogen deficiency. It is unclear whether and which phytoestrogens can compensate for the lack of estrogen. Studies must also determine whether these substances, in contrast to estrogen therapy, do not increase the risk of breast and uterine cancer.


Original title:
Estrogens and aging skin

Year:
2013

Authors:
M.J. Thornton

Scientific journal:
Dermato-Endocrinology

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