The Menopause Diaries #7: Dry hands & skin

It’s been a while since I last added a post to this series.

Just a quick note:
Have you not heard about The Menopause Diaries? It’s a meme I started a couple of months ago to share the things I notice changing in my body as I go through menopause. If you are in the same situation, or your partner is, please feel free to share your experiences and link it to this meme. If you don’t have a blog of your own, you can post your thoughts on my site.

Okay, so… dry hands.

I have never been one who constantly use hand creme and I don’t think I ever will be, but nowadays I have periods that I put creme on my hands several times a day. I have never suffered from dry hands, until about two years ago. At first I thought that I was suffering from ‘winter hands’, but when I got these dry patches on my fingers in the midst of summer, I knew that wasn’t it.

The skin on my fingers and in the palms of my hands dry out and start to peel. It appears overnight, stays for several weeks and then disappears overnight. Sometimes I use hand creme several times a day, other times I don’t use creme at all. The dry places don’t get bigger if I don’t use creme and they don’t disappear quicker if I use a lot of creme. I had no idea what this was, until I read how the changing of oestrogen levels in a woman’s body can affect your skin. When oestrogen levels drop, the skin dry out.

It’s not only the skin on my hands that dry out. Sometimes, especially when it’s colder outside, the skin on my entire body dries out so much that when I take off my tights, it’s ‘filled’ with white flakes. The first time I saw this, my jaw literally dropped. Once again, it doesn’t matter how much body lotion I use, my skin will dry out and stay dry. And then, all of a sudden it’s over and my skin is okay again, no matter how much lotion I have used.

I have also read that dry skin can be a sign of an under-active thyroid, but because it appears overnight and then disappears again overnight, I doubt whether in my case it can be an under-active thyroid (if any doctors out there want to contradict me, please go ahead).

I cannot say that I hate getting older. It has given me more confidence, and even though I have gained weight in the last years (another thing caused partially by menopause) I have a lot more confidence than I had in the past. I have come to accept who I am and I know that I am allowed to have an opinion, and even that I am allowed to voice my opinion. In the past I have been far too shy and had little confidence and this caused me to keep my mouth shut, because I didn’t want to sound ridiculous if I spoke my mind. Nowadays, after I have spoken out, I sometimes am in awe. In awe because I dared to speak out, but also in awe because people listen and don’t laugh at what I had said.

Next year I turn 50 and where I know that half of my life is gone, it doesn’t sadden me. In fact, I love my life. I live by the day and still learn new things. I am happy and confident, despite dry hands, night sweats and hot flashes!

© Rebel’s Notes

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