What Are the Skin Signs of Thyroid Disease?

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Thyroid disease and skin conditions- Thyroid levels in the body determine skin health. There are several thyroid hormone-responsive genes present in the skin. The thyroid hormone receptors in the skin regulate its effects on the skin. Both overactivity and under activity of thyroid hormones will affect skin health. Let’s find out those skin conditions and how we can reduce them.

Myxedema

This is the swelling of tissues under the skin. It occurs due to severe thyroid diseases like Grave’s disease or Hashimoto Thyroiditis. Hypothyroidism is the deficiency of thyroid hormones which slows down the body’s metabolism. The skin gets thickened and the soft tissues get swollen under the skin. This turns into a non-pitted lump on the surface if not treated.

Edema

Due to metabolic slow down the body’s excess fluid gets trapped in the tissues and causes swelling. It occurs anywhere in the body but the most common places are face and hand. It is more prominent after waking up in the morning. The patient with thyroid disease may not be able to speak properly if the edema occurs in the tongue and throat.

Carotenemia

It’s a harmless skin condition and doesn’t affect your daily routine. Due to significantly less thyroid hormone levels in the blood, the conversion of carotene into Vitamin A is hampered. Due to this, the carotene gets left out in the skin tissues giving a yellow or orange tone to the skin as in jaundice.

Pallor

It is the unnatural pale color of the skin. Thyroid hormone deficiency affects the thickness and density of the blood vessels which blocks the blood flow to the skin.  Paleness of the skin, mouth lips and palms accompanied by sweating is a serious cause of concern. So thyroid disease needs immediate medical attention.

Xerosis

Less thyroid hormone in the body causes extreme dryness of the skin. The affected areas may get itchy and rashes. It occurs due to inefficient water retention. The hygroscopic molecules in the epidermal layer of the skin become inefficient. Also, low thyroid levels decrease the effectiveness of skin ceramide which prevents water loss.

Anhidrosis

Our body has various heat-regulating mechanisms.  One of them is sweating. The absence of sweating stops heat from getting released from our bodies. This occurs in thyroid disease as the sweat glands are not working properly.

Erythema

This is caused by an overactive thyroid or elevated levels of thyroid hormone in the blood. The skin gets inflamed without any injury or infection. This is caused by the increased blood flow in the capillaries due to thyroid disease.

How to Treat These Skin Conditions?

Treating thyroid skin conditions are not as effective as these are just the body’s symptoms of an underlying cause. Test your thyroid hormone levels and discuss these symptoms with your gynecologist. Because sometimes treating thyroid disease can help ease these skin conditions.

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