You already know that even short-term sun exposure at any age can harm your complexion and lead to wrinkles and ho-hum, dull skin. Menopausal women may be particularly vulnerable to the sun’s harmful rays. That’s because your skin becomes thinner with age and you lose some of your skin’s natural SPF, making it especially sensitive to sun damage.
What’s more, melasma, a form of hyperpigmentation (usually on the forehead, cheeks, upper lips and chin) is common in women undergoing hormone replacement therapy. Melasma usually resolves on its own, but in some cases it can become a chronic condition.
Treatment: Avoid sun exposure whenever possible, and when you do head out, slather on SPF 30 every day (rain or shine!), and get your moles and freckles checked annually by a dermatologist.
MORE: Get Sunscreen Savvy
To treat melasma, your dermatologist may prescribe a combination of prescription retinoids like Renova or Retin-A and skin-lightening hydroquinone. Over-the-counter products containing licorice and soy may are also helpful with melasma. For stubborn cases, fractional lasers are effective.
Melasma is incredibly sun-sensitive, which means that even a tiny bit of sun exposure can trigger a flare-up, so if you have melasma and are serious about treating it, sun avoidance and daily sunscreen use are an absolute must.
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