Taking care of your thyroid problems

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Taking care of your thyroid problems

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:

  • Dry, pale or cool skin
  • Moist, velvety and warm skin
  • Dry skin with deep cracks and scale
  • Deep, noticeable lines on your palms or soles
  • Yellowish-orange colour on your palms and soles
  • Doughy, swollen face, especially on your eyelids, lips and tongue
  • Flushing on your face and red palms
  • Darker skin in the creases of your palms, on your gums or elsewhere in your mouth
  • Reddish spots on your skin that come and go
  • Loss of hair, including eyebrows and eye lashes
  • Rashes, especially in the creases of your skin
  • Slow-healing wounds

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.

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