Normally, hypothyroidism is a quiet condition that we don’t know we have, unless we are particularly well versed in its symptoms.
But the Journal of Rawalpindi Medical College has now published a study to identify the most common skin changes in people with hypothyroidism.
The skin often tells us of diseases that affect our internal organs, but we usually ignore its messages and simply slap on thicker layers of body lotions.
The authors of the new study wanted to find out exactly what skin changes are seen in newly diagnosed hypothyroidism cases, and they were also interested in the relationship between gender and skin manifestations of hypothyroidism.
They recruited 105 people from the Rawal Institute of Health Sciences in Islamabad who had just been diagnosed with hypothyroidism.
Pregnant women, people with other thyroid diseases, people receiving thyroid hormone therapy, and critically ill people were excluded.
All the subjects were above 18 years of age, with an average age of 38 years. 62 percent of them were female.
All the subjects underwent skin examinations during which the researchers recorded their findings.
1. 69.5 percent of subjects had dry skin.
2. 58 percent suffered from hair loss short of the level of genuine alopecia.
3. 57 percent had coarse skin.
4. 51.4 percent reported itchy skin.
5. 37 percent displayed madarosis, or loss of eyelashes and/or eyebrows.
6. 34 percent presented with seborrheic dermatitis, an itchy rash with flaky scales that is red on light skin and light on dark skin. It usually appears on the scalp but can appear anywhere.
7. 27 percent exhibited coarse scalp hairs.
8. 23 percent reported slow nail growth.
9. 20 percent had brittle nails, severe hair loss, ivory yellow skin, and bruising.
They found a couple of gender differences.
Women were more likely than men to have blood pressure, anemia, dry skin, coarse skin, slight hair loss, and seborrheic dermatitis.
If you have any of these problems for the first time while simultaneously feeling fatigued and experiencing unexplained weight gain, it is worth testing your thyroid hormones to see if you have hypothyroidism.