04-12-2017 | Dermatologist | Specific Care , Skin

Andropause and skincare for men

Now that winter is coming, it is very important to look after your skin. This is the time of year when skin dehydrates and tends to become dryer and more sensitive. Looking after your skin takes on greater importance as you age because skin loses its ability to regenerate.

Of note is the effect that age has on men's skin which people don't tend to know much about. After the age of forty, the male body can begin to undergo a process called andropause. This stage of a man’s life is defined by being something very similar to the concept of the male menopause.

What is andropause?

Andropause, also known as age-associated androgen deficiency, is the series of symptoms related to the decrease in the secretion of testosterone in men. The process can start after the age of 45.

Although it can bear similarities to menopause, there are differences, such as the fact that it does not happen to all men and often begins suddenly, able to appear from the age of 40.

Determinations of total testosterone or bioavailable testosterone are used to establish and confirm its diagnosis.

However, it is important to mention that progressive loss is a physiological process. That's why it is estimated that total testosterone falls by 1% per year after the age of 30.

What symptoms does it cause in men's skin?

Numerous symptoms appear in relation to andropause, such as a reduction in libido, changes in erections, tendency to gain weight, mood disorders (depression, irritability), fatigue and osteoporosis.

With regards the skin, androgens (testosterone) engage in the growth of sebaceous glands and sebum production and lead to a growth in hair follicles in specific areas (beard, armpits and pubic area). However, in hair areas they are associated with the anagen hair loss phase and baldness. It also actively participates in modulation of the thickness of the dermis, responsible for skin cell regeneration.

That’s why a reduction in testosterone production leads to the appearance of wrinkles and saggy skin. Skin tends to dry out because of the reduction in sebum. Although there is a great deal of controversy about the effect androgens have on baldness, it's important to remember that genetic inheritance determines its evolution. However, it's true that the amount of body hair generally declines due to the effect of the reduction of testosterone.

Skincare in winter

People with androgen deficiency will be more predisposed to flaking skin and lesions due to sensitivity. The skincare recommendations we propose are:

  • Cleanse and moisturise: Skin which is very prone to dryness. Use gels and liquid soaps in the form of emulsions to protect the skin by providing a film on the surface. This is particularly important in winter when the cold and wind can weaken the skin's barrier function.
  • Nourish the skin: Nourishing the skin to encourage its regeneration is very important for restoring strength and tone. Antioxidants like vitamin C and vitamin E should be taken during the day, or try retinoids at night.
  • Look after yourself: Make sure you drink enough water at this time of year as it will help keep skin moist. The use of body emollients is very important, particularly on hands and feet.

autor
DermatologistExpert in skin care

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