An under- or overactive thyroid gland can show its presence on your skin. In fact, many dermatologists and skin care therapists pick up signs of thyroid problems before they are diagnosed by a doctor.
The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped gland located in your neck, responsible for the production of hormones, as well as regulating your heartbeat, breathing and various other functions. An overactive thyroid gland is when it produces too much of the hormone thyroxine. This can result in an acceleration of your body’s metabolism, causing unintentional weight loss and an irregular or rapid heartbeat. A underactive thyroid is the opposite – not producing enough hormones, leading to tiredness, weight gain and feelings of depression.
The effects it can have on your skin are varied. Here is a list of common skin symptoms related to thyroid problems, according to the American Academy of Dermatologists:
If you suspect you might have thyroid problems, or your therapist has noticed a change in your skin, it’s worth getting it checked out – a simple blood test and examination of the gland externally for swelling.