Menopause and itchy skin can affect many parts of the body, and fluctuating hormone levels can thin the skin and make it prone to dryness and itching.
Itchy skin or pruritus is a common problem during menopause. Many women may notice itchiness on their body, face or genitals. Itchy skin during menopause may be the result of a fallen estrogen levels. Estrogen is important for skin health. It helps the skin to stay moist by stimulating the production of natural oils and collagen.
Collagen is a protein that maintains the strength and elasticity of the skin. A decrease in natural oils and collagen can cause the skin to become drier and thinner than it was before menopause, which can make it feel itchy.
Women may also notice vaginal itching more often during menopause. Vaginal itching is called vulvar pruritus. This type of itching may occur more often if a woman also experiences vaginal dryness, which is another common symptom of menopause. Low levels of estrogen can make the vaginal tissue drier and thinner than usual. When this happens, it’s called vaginal atrophy or atrophic vaginitis, which can make the vagina or vulva feel itchy and painful as well. This may also make sex more painful.