How To Prevent Hypothyroidism From Ruining Your Skin And Accelerated Aging

Hypothyroidism Dry Skin Treatment

Most people are not aware that thyroid disorders can affect their skin and they may need a hypothyroidism dry skin treatment. Often skin issues can be one of the early signs of a thyroid imbalance like Hashimoto’s and hypothyroidism and appear many years before a hypothyroidism diagnosis is made.

Your skin is very sensitive to your thyroid hormone levels. When you have an overactive thyroid the skin tends to become more moist and even more oily in some women as opposed to a underactive thyroid where it gets dry and flaky.

In fact, hypothyroidism is one of the health issues that can be written right on your face. Often it is enough to look in the mirror and notice that there is something wrong.

hypothyroid face

Here are some

Thyroid Related Skin Problems To Watch For

When you are hypothyroid your face can become puffy with swelling around your eyes, the outer third of your eyebrows are thinning, facial and body skin is sagging and is dry, flaky, dull and wrinkled making you look older.

All these skin problems are a nightmare for any woman at any age who wants to look her best. In order to get to the bottom of these issues your first step is to find out whether skin problems listed below are thyroid related:

Cold, dry and flaky skin

When your thyroid is underproducing thyroid hormones your skin can get cold, very dry and flaky. As a result, it can become much more prone to redness, irritation and various types of rashes.

“It has been found that in over 80% of individuals with primary hypothyroidism, the epidermis is thin, rough, and hyperkeratotic giving a scaly appearance.”

Source: Dermatologic manifestations of endocrine disorders. Transl. Pediatr. 2017 Oct;6(4):300-312. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5682371/

Wrinkles

Your thyroid is a part of the endocrine system where the pituitary gland sends a signal to the thyroid to produce thyroid hormones. When this process doesn’t happen as it should it can affect your skin in a very surprising way by giving you more wrinkles and an older appearance.

“Patients with hypothyroidism due to pituitary failure often demonstrate a fine wrinkling of the skin that imparts a parchment-like quality.”

Source: Dermatologic manifestations of endocrine disorders. Transl. Pediatr. 2017 Oct;6(4):300-312. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5682371/

In addition, excessive dryness of the skin can also lead to early wrinkling, premature aging and may need a hypothyroidism dry skin treatment.

Pale skin impression

Pale looking skin is an unusual lighter colored skin than your normal healthy complexion. It can be caused by reduced blood flow and oxygen or by a decreased number of red blood cells that happen in anemia which is very common in hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease.

The paleness can also be due to the abnormal levels of mucopolysaccharide and water in the epidermis that are caused by hypothyroidism.

Sagging skin

Dropping eyelids and sagging skin especially around the neck and lower jaw area are typical effects of hypothyroidism that can appear even in younger women. The good news is that it’s reversible with an optimal thyroid treatment.

thyroid treatment

Lost skin elasticity

Studies show that hypothyroidism can lower collagen production causing a loss of skin elasticity and premature aging.

In an article from Dermato-endocrinology, 2011 researches reported that low thyroid function slows collagen production even in people younger than 25 years old.

Source: Thyroid hormone action on skin. Dermatoendocrinol. 2011 Jul-Sep; 3(3): 211–215. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22110782

Yellowish colored skin

Some people with hypothyroidism have a jaundice-like appearance with a yellowish coloured skin due to carotene excess.

“Excess carotene, due to reduced hepatic conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A, can deposit in the stratum corneum and manifest as a yellowing of the skin. This process most commonly affects the palms, soles, and nasolabial folds.”

Source: Cutaneous manifestations of endocrine disorders: a guide for dermatologists. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2003; 4(5):315-31.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12688837

Skin discoloration

Hypothyroidism accelerates pigmentation of the face, neck and body.

Swelling

A swelling of hands and feet and a diffuse swelling of the body skin due to water retention when skin can appear dry, pale, waxy, cold and firm to touch. An extreme case would be myxedema.

Hives

Hives are red, itchy welts on the skin that can be of different size and appear anywhere on the body. According to research studies, there is an increased prevalence of thyroid autoimmune disease such as positivity of thyroid antibodies, Hashimoto’s disease with or without hypothyroidism in people with chronic urticaria.

High thyroid antibodies were reported in up to 29% of patients with chronic hives (urticaria) where thyroid disease seemed to be the underlying cause of this type of itching.

Source:  Idiopathic chronic urticaria and thyroid autoimmunity: Experience of a single center. Dermatoendocrinol. 2011 Oct;3(4):255-8. Epub  2011 Oct 1.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22259654

How To Know If Skin Symptoms Are Caused By Thyroid Imbalance

It is important to understand that all skin symptoms described above can be thyroid related and get your thyroid tested before deciding on what hypothyroidism dry skin treatment you need.

Tests for thyroid antibodies and thyroid function are especially recommended for people with edema, cold dry skin, pale complexion and chronic hives that cannot be attributed to an allergen or any other cause.

These tests can rule out involvement of hypothyroidism and thyroid autoimmunity or help to confirm it as being the cause of these skin conditions.

If you cannot get a doctor’s referral for thyroid testing or don’t have medical insurance but are looking for advanced thyroid testing consider to order tests yourself.

Until the end of March 2019 you can get 10% off any lab testing with the discount code SPRING2019 at the TrueHealthLabs.

Thyroid test results

8 Skin Care Tips For Women With Hypothyroidism

Your best protection against thyroid related skin problems and signs of aging is to make sure that your thyroid levels are properly optimized and you are getting an optimal hypothyroidism treatment.

Besides improving your thyroid levels, adjusting your diet and lifestyle and getting thyroid supportive exercise, here are some skin care tips and resources to help you with hypothyroidism dry skin treatment:

1.Drinking enough water

Your body is made up of 70% water. It means that dehydration is not good for your skin. When you are not having enough water, it can become visible by affecting the quality of your skin and adding more fine and deeper wrinkles.

If you want to have healthy skin drink enough water throughout the day. A good rule of thumb is that you want to drink a half of your body weight in ounces of water per day.

2. Eating good quality fish

Make sure that you stay away from farm-raised fish and are eating good quality fish such as a wild salmon and white fish. They are great for your skin because they provide anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids that can help reduce skin inflammation and keep it moisturized.

In addition, fish contains vitamin A that helps with blemishes and dryness and has vitamin D needed for a healthy skin tone.

3. Don’t overuse soap

People with low thyroid function who overuse soap tend to get dry, flaky, scratchy and itchy skin. The best way to use soap is to apply it only in so called intertriginous areas where two skin areas may rub or touch together.

This includes underarms, skin folds of the breasts and groin area. These parts of the body can be washed with soap daily. Gentle, fragrance-free cleansers that contain emollients are another option.

Since hypothyroidism can make your palms and feet very dry choosing a very mild soap and avoiding antibacterial soaps because they are especially drying, can be a better alternative.

4. Keep your showers short

When you have dry and irritated skin taking long showers or bathing too often can dry out and damage your skin even more because it becomes less hydrated. Keeping showers short, using warm water instead of hot and applying a moisturizer immediately after drying your body with a towel can help.

5. Use moisturizing cream

If you have hypothyroidism and especially live with this health condition for a long time already you need to enhance your skins natural barrier and give it an additional protection from the environment by using a good moisturizing skin cream that will keep it moist.

In order to see benefits you need to use the moisturizer daily on the face and body after every shower. After washing hands or using a sanitizer you may to need to apply a hand cream several times a day in order to prevent it from getting dry.

Make sure that the cream contains only natural ingredients, is hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin.

Watch out for chemicals like parabens, phthalates, sulphates, GMO, synthetic or proprietary fragrances or dyes which are chemical additives that are known as endocrine as well as thyroid and sex hormones disruptors.

Moisturizing Cream

6. Add collagen promoting foods to your diet

Collagen is a protein that declines by 1.5% per year starting after the age of 25. That is why as we age we get sagging skin, weak muscles, wrinkles and have muscle loss.

Collagen helps our skin to have elasticity and a young healthy appearance. It promotes healthier, clearer skin, helps to speed up wound healing and prevent fine lines and wrinkles.

However, hypothyroidism can cause lower collagen production and as a result, loss of skin elasticity and a slower healing of wounds.

One of the ways to get more collagen into your body is to eat foods that have collagen such as bone broth. It is a very nutritious food and there are many other health benefits of bone broth for your thyroid and overall health.

Another way is to provide necessary nutrients to help your body to produce collagen naturally.  For example, bone broth contains amino acid called glycine, bell peppers and citrus fruits are high in vitamin C and can helps with natural collagen production.

7. Take potent probiotic

A high-quality probiotic is the key to keeping your skin in good health, strengthen your immune system and support thyroid health.

Different probiotic strains have unique properties and some of them can be beneficial for skin. For example, Lactobacillus plantarum can not only assist with digestion but also provides anti-aging benefits and can help improve your skin.

Clinical trials demonstrated that this strain increases skin gloss, reduces wrinkle depth and improves skin elasticity after supplementing it for 12 weeks. It also helps to reduce inflammation, strengthen the skin’s protective barrier and diminish acne.

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8. High quality protein

Protein is the building block for all your body’s tissues including muscles and skin. Most foods contain some protein. However, as a person with hypothyroidism you have to make sure that you are not only getting enough protein from good quality sources but also can digest and absorb it from your healthy foods.

The problem is that many people with hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s disease have low stomach acid production that results in maldigestion and malabsorption of protein and ultimately in a protein deficiency.

When this happens, you start to experience fatigue, muscle wasting, weakened immune system, slower metabolism, skin problems and can become even more hypothyroid.

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P.S. Do you like what you read and would like to learn more? Get FREE access to our Hypothyroidism Seminar: The Right And Wrong Ways To Heal and learn how to improve your hypothyroid symptoms by restoring your thyroid hormone pathway. This is by far the biggest problem in people without the thyroid and those who don’t feel well despite taking thyroid medication.

About Marina Gutner, PhD

Marina Gutner, PhD, researcher, medical writer, thyroid blogger and founder of Outsmart Disease who writes about life-changing treatments for hypothyroidism, Hashimoto's thyroiditis and autoimmune disease and how to balance hormones in women