Estrace cream is a prescription vaginal estrogen cream. Estrogens are hormones responsible for the development and maintenance of the female reproductive system. They are produced by the ovaries, which reduce estrogen production when menstruation ends. Estrace cream is commonly prescribed as a treatment for postmenopausal women to help reduce the uncomfortable effects of menopause symptoms. It is also prescribed for other uses and has been used as a wrinkle treatment.
Estrace cream contains estrodiol, which is the primary naturally occurring human estrogen. Estrace cream contains 0.1 mg of estridiol in a nonliquefying base of purified water, propylene glycol, stearyl alcohol, white ceresin wax, mono and di-glycerides, hypromellose 2208 (4000 cps), sodium lauryl sulfate, methylparaben, edetate di-sodium and tertiary-butylhydroquinone.
Estrace cream is most often prescribed for the treatment of vaginal atrophy. This causes inflammation of vagina and the outer urinary tract, a result of thinning and shrinking tissues as well as decreased lubrication, notes the Mayo Clinic. (Reference 6) It is also prescribed for hot flashes, sweating in menopause, itching, burning and painful or difficult urination. (Reference 4) Estrogen creams such as Estrace have been used to treat wrinkles and thinning skin.
Estrace and other estrogen creams have been used on the facial skin to help reduce the appearance of wrinkles. A Maryland dermatologist, Dr. Irving Wolfe, noted in an article published in the May 9, 2005, ABC’s WTAE Pittsburgh Channel, that estrogen in vaginal creams produces a small amount of inflammation. This puffs up the skin and helps reduce the appearance of wrinkles.
A study by P. Creidi, et al., published in the October 1994 issue of “Maturitas” compared estrogen cream with a placebo cream on 54 women aged 52 to 70 years. The group using estrogen cream on facial wrinkles showed greater improvement in skin thickness and fine wrinkles than the placebo group.
Using Estrace for facial wrinkling requires a different dosage and usage than using Estrace for vaginal dryness. The cream may need to be diluted or a lower dosage prescribed. Few clinical long-term studies are available on Estrace cream usage for facial wrinkling and your doctor may not prescribe Estrace cream for this purpose. Consult your doctor if you plan to use Estrace on facial wrinkles.
Estrace is an estrogen cream that should not be used by pregnant women, women with cancer or have a family history of breast cancer, liver dysfunction and cardiovascular disease. Estrogen therapy has been associated with stroke and an increased risk of cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction. (Reference 3) Consult with your physician or health care provider before using Estrace or any other estrogen cream.
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- ABC-The Pittsburg Channel: Doctors: Vaginal Cream May Be Harmful For Face
- PubMed: Effect of Conjugated Oestrogen (Premarin) Cream on Ageing Facial Skin. A Comparative Study with a Placebo Cream
- Daily Med: Estrace (Estradiol) Cream
- National Institutes of Health: Estrogen Vaginal
- PubMed: Systemic Absorption and Sustained Effects of Vaginal Estrogen Creams
- MayoClinic.com: Vaginal Atrophy
Caroline Thompson is a professional photojournalist who has been working for print and online publications since 1999. Her work has appeared in the "Sacramento Bee," "People Magazine," "Newsweek" and other publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in photojournalism from California State University at Hayward and a personal trainer certification from the university's Health and Fitness Institute.