Bee Loved Skincare

Thyroid disorders and dry, itchy skin: what is the link?

Image courtesy of 34 Menopause Symptoms 
For the tens of millions of people around the world suffering from a thyroid disorder, dry, itchy and cracked skin is all too common.
Known as pruritus, this perplexing and often painful skin condition is a key symptom of inadequate thyroid hormone production, whether the root cause be iodine deficiency, autoimmune disease, hyper or hypothyroidism or another thyroid dysfunction.
The thyroid gland, butterfly shaped and located in the neck, is responsible for a range of important metabolic functions from maintaining blood pressure, sustaining tissue growth and supporting the skeletal, nervous, and reproductive systems.
When thyroid dysfunction occurs, it decreases the body’s metabolism, which in turn can negatively affect the skin’s natural ability to heal itself. This commonly causes itchy skin. People who suffer from hyperthyroidism, or an over active thyroid gland, are more likely to experience itchiness caused by an increased blood flow to the skin.
Pruritus sufferers with thyroid conditions report a range of uncomfortable skin symptoms from dry itchy skin, a flaky scalp, frizzy hair, cracked heels, brittle nails, pale skin and even eczema. Hair loss is also a common and devastating side effect.
The frontline treatment for thyroid disorders is medical treatment from an endocrine specialist. Mainly affecting women over 35 years, thyroid conditions can brew for years and only be diagnosed during a hormonal flux such as menopause. That’s why keeping an eye out for the symptoms of thyroid dysfunction, such as pruritus, can help your GP to diagnose and treat a thyroid disorder much earlier.
Skin care however is also an important component of managing pruritus symptoms. Sufferers should take extra care to avoid chemicals, fragrances and petrochemicals used in skin care that are scientifically proven to irritate and dry skin further. Always check the ingredients label on the back of your skincare product to make sure it contains non-synthetic ingredients that are known to support skin healing, nourishment and maintenance of the skin’s natural moisture balance.
To learn more about the skincare products you should never use on your skin, refer to our previous blog post here.
This post appeared first in the Bee Loved Skincare blog.

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