Is it a hot flush?
It is if it is a surge of intense warmth that heats up your whole body accompanied by sweating lasting for a few minutes.
If you get them you’re not alone. Three out of every four menopausal women have hot flushes. Some women only have occasional hot flushes that don’t really bother them at all, while others report 20 hot flushes a day that are uncomfortable, disruptive and embarrassing.
This annoyance also takes its toll on your looks. It’s difficult to look your best when a hot flush strikes. Your skin can redden and you can begin to suffer excessive sweating, which can ruin carefully applied make-up. The last thing you want is to look like you’ve just been in a sauna, with all your make-up sliding off, if you are in an important business meeting or on a much-anticipated date.
But there are measures you can take to minimise the impact of the heat and take the edge off the sweating, leaving your looks intact.
Cooling neck scarves
You can, for instance try a cooling neck scarf. These work via crystals concealed in the mid-section of a stylish cotton scarf. These crystals are developed to retain water.
When the scarf is soaked in water the granules absorb the water and turn into a crystalline gel. The cotton fabric absorbs water from the gel and the water evaporates for a cooling effect.
Scarves stay cool and moist for hours thank to the water-retaining properties of the crystals. When worn the retained water evaporates and draws away body heat creating a cooling effect.
Portable cooling devices
Another option is a portable, personal cooling device that works a bit like an electronic ice cube, called the Ambi. It is about the size of a smartphone and can be popped easily into handbags.
It is button activated and works on the principles used by NASA to chill the shell of the Space Shuttle, and in some portable refrigerators. Simply apply it to the skin and it will cool you down.
Other women swear by a cooling mist. These are also portable and are sprayed directly on the skin. They cool skin and reduce body heat and also help to alleviate redness.
Cooling lotions and gels
There are other cooling products you can buy which will go some way to help such as cooling lotions and gels, and you can also try refrigerating a pack of baby wipes and using these when the heat strikes.
You could also keep a cool drink by your side as sipping a long glass of iced water may help to regulate body temperature.
What causes hot flushes?
It is mainly down to the drop in oestrogen that hot flushes occur but you can take steps to minimise the triggers:
Hot flush triggers to avoid
• Woolly jumpers especially polo necks. Wear lightweight clothes and dress in layers so you can lose warmer clothing when a hot flush strikes.
• Reduce the air temperature. Lower the heat, open a window, or use an electric fan.
• Spicy food. This is often cited as a trigger so avoid curries.
Read more about controlling hot flushes