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Is Menopause Causing Your Skin Rash?

Brittany Dick

Menopause can impact many parts of the body and mind.

Your brain, mood, body composition, and even hair may all go through an evolution thanks to the hormonal shifts experienced during perimenopause and menopause— and, unfortunately, your skin is not immune to these changes. This can come in the form of shifts in skin elasticity, texture and even an increase in sensitivity, which can contribute to the onset of more frequent irritation and rashes.

Luckily, many of these symptoms are not only temporary, but they’re also manageable with proper diagnosis and care. Let’s dive a bit deeper into the driving force behind different types of menopausal skin changes – and more specifically, the presentation of rashes and irritation.

Can Menopause Cause Rashes?

If you’re experiencing skin changes leading up to or during menopause, you’re not alone. In fact, research shows more than 60% of women report skin problems during this transitional time.1 Here we’ll outline some of the more common underlying reasons for the onset of a menopause rash along with other skin changes women may experience.

Changing Hormones

As with many changes that come alongside menopause, hormones play a huge role in your skin’s health and appearance. During menopause, your body begins to produce less estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. This shift in hormones, coupled with an increase in cortisol, can wreak havoc on skin health, causing skin irritations such as rashes, hives, and acne, as well as changes in color, texture, or smoothness.2

Shifting pH of Skin

Around the age of 50, the pH level of our skin changes.3 This is important to note as our skin’s pH is naturally more acidic, which helps to fend off free radicles and harmful microbes, that can impact skin health and aging.4  This change in pH can make skin more sensitive and prone to skin rashes and irritation.5 During this time period, pre-existing conditions, like rosacea, may also temporarily worsen.6

Here we’ll look at some of the more common skin rashes women can experience due to these changes in hormones and skin pH levels during menopause.

Common Skin Rashes During Menopause

You may notice that your skin has become more sensitive during menopause – but there are several changes that you may observe more commonly. Keep reading to learn about a few types of specific skin irritations and rashes that may present during perimenopause and menopause.

Flushing or Rosacea

Hot flashes during menopause may cause redness of the face, neck and chest7— this can also be referred to as “skin flushing”. This symptom is usually fleeting, lasting no more than one to five minutes at a time, on average.8

Some women with a more chronic form of skin flushing, known as rosacea, may notice that this skin condition worsens, as hormones shift during menopause. Rosacea typically involves the blood vessels becoming overactive and leading to more skin redness. Fortunately, although rosacea is a chronic condition, symptoms can be managed – effective management options for rosacea exist and often include using topical creams or gels, taking oral medications, and avoiding trigger foods and beverages, like spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine.9, 10 


Thanks to a combination of hormonal changes and repeated sun exposure, some women may experience melasma during menopause. Melasma is a condition that causes darkened patches of skin pigmentation or “freckle-like” spots in areas of the cheeks, upper lip, or forehead.11

While many women experience melasma during pregnancy and with the use of oral contraception, due to the effect on hormones, they may also encounter it during menopause for a similar reason. Treatment for melasma includes reducing sun exposure, applying daily sunscreen, and/or using topical or oral medications prescribed by a dermatologist.12

Red Bumps, Eczema, or Hives

We touched briefly on how decreasing estrogen and shifting skin pH levels can increase the sensitivity of the skin. These factors, in addition to a myriad of allergens, may cause your skin to itch, develop bumps, or break out in hives after exposure to certain fabrics, perfumes, or dyes. Some common types of skin irritations can include:13, 14

  • Hives, which can appear as itchy, painful welts as result of exposure to an allergen.
  • Contact dermatitis is another example of an itchy, bumpy allergic rash that can develop as a result of exposure to some substances or metals.
  • Atopic dermatitis, or eczema, is another type of inflammatory skin condition that causes red, itchy, and sometimes painful patches on the body after exposure to soaps, detergents, or other products that come into contact with the skin.

Can Menopause Cause Itchy Skin?

In addition to experiencing rashes and the irritations mentioned above during menopause, hormonal changes occurring during this transition can lead to general skin itchiness as well. The significant drop in estrogen often causes your body to produce less collagen and natural, lubricating oils—leading to dry, itchy skin.15 This can occur on any part of your body.


Fortunately, a proper lotion or moisturizer can be used to help relieve itchy skin caused during perimenopause and menopause. If discomfort persists, be sure to check in with your healthcare provider or a dermatologist to rule out any other underlying causes of itchy skin during menopause.

Other Common Skin Changes During Menopause

Menopause may lead to several other skin changes, in addition to rashes and irritation, including:16

Curious about what you can do for menopause skin changes? Check out our quick video from Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Alyssa Dweck, here: 


When Skin Rashes Are Caused by More Than Menopause, Seek Medical Help

While most skin rashes or changes during menopause are not a medical emergency, some may have underlying causes that warrant an appointment with your healthcare provider or dermatologist.

You should seek help from a physician if your skin condition is accompanied by:17, 18

  • Trouble breathing
  • A rash covering most of your body
  • Fever or illness
  • A rash with blisters or open sores
  • A rash involving the lips, mouth, eyes, or genital skin

A Note on Autoimmune Diseases

Some skin rashes may be a symptom of a developing autoimmune disease, such as lupus.19 Autoimmune diseases occur when your immune system becomes overactive and attacks its own body tissues and/or organs.20

Coincidentally, the average age of onset for several types of autoimmune diseases aligns with the average age of menopause.21 Autoimmune illnesses are serious and may require lifelong supervision and treatment from a healthcare provider.

If you have a skin rash or condition that persists or is accompanied by other unusual symptoms, it’s important to see a healthcare provider for a proper examination, diagnosis, and treatment.

When to See a Healthcare Provider for Skin Rashes or Skin Changes During Menopause

Skin changes during menopause are not uncommon, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer through them. Be sure to speak with your healthcare provider or a trusted dermatologist if you experience rashes or skin changes that are a concern to you – it’s also a good idea to consider scheduling a regular, total body skin check, to proactively check for any issues or skin cancer.

Treatment options are available for many different skin conditions. A healthcare professional can help determine the cause, trigger, and offer a proper diagnosis based on your symptoms to help you feel more like yourself again. 



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