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  • Natasha Harris

Thyroid Disorders and Skin Problems


The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck that produces hormones, which play a key role throughout the body, influencing your metabolism, regulating your heartbeat, growth and development, and body temperature along with many other functions.


While the thyroid gland sits deep in your neck, a dermatologist may be the first doctor to notice symptoms of thyroid disease. This is because signs of irregular thyroid function appear on the skin, hair, and nails. Nearly 20 million Americans have some form of thyroid disease, and up to 60 percent of those with thyroid disease are unaware of their condition (American Thyroid Association).


Here are a few signs that might indicate issues with the thyroid gland (For a full list of signs visit American Academy of Dermatology Association):


SKIN

☐ Dry, pale, and cool skin ☐ Moist, velvety, and warm skin like a baby’s ☐ Dry skin with deep cracks and scale ☐ Slow-healing wounds ☐ Sweating less (or more) than before ☐ Goiter (swelling in the neck) ☐ Protruding eyes ☐ Rashes, especially in the creases of your skin ☐ Reddish spots on the skin that come and go


HAIR


☐ Thinning (or missing) eyebrows on the outer edge ☐ Coarse, dull, dry, and brittle hair that breaks easily ☐ Soft and fine hair with lots of shedding ☐ Thinning hair or balding patches ☐ Growing more slowly (or quickly)


NAILS

☐ Thick, dry, and brittle with visible ridges

☐ Soft, shiny, and easily crumble ☐ Growing more slowly (or quickly) ☐ Peel, crumble, or break easily ☐ Lift up ☐ Curved with swollen fingertip and thickening skin above the nail


These signs do not necessarily mean that you have thyroid disease. Discuss with your primary care physician if you aren’t feeling yourself and they can help you decide whether you need a blood test to check for thyroid disease.

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