Skin and hair are alarm bells for thyroid gland

Skin and hair are alarm bells for thyroid gland

The skin, nails, and hair are among the first parts of the body to be affected by thyroid malfunctions, explains Paolo Vitti, president of the SIE, Italian Society of Endocrinology, coordinator and scientific leader of World Thyroid Week. In fact, thyroid hormones play an important role in maintaining normal skin functions such as oxygen consumption, cell division, protein synthesis, skin thickness, normal sebum secretion, and hair and hair growth.

Some of these actions of thyroid hormones are direct and others are indirect and related to more general effects such as heat production and peripheral blood circulation. An improperly functioning thyroid is responsible for many changes in the skin and skin adnexa such as hair and nails, so it is very important to evaluate these aspects because they could be alarm bells for more widespread thyroid diseases.”.

Check your skin and hair

“In the case of reduced production of thyroid hormones, that is, in hypothyroidism, the skin is pale, dry and
cold and if you have long-standing hypothyroidism, the palms of the hands and feet can take on a
yellow-orange complexion due to carotene accumulation. As for the hair, it is matted,
dry and brittle and there may also be loss of beard, pubic hair and the lateral third of the eyebrow.
In addition, in 90 percent of hypothyroids, the nails are thin, brittle, small in size, and streaked
longitudinal and transverse and grow less quickly. Proportionally to the severity of hypothyroidism there is also delayed wound healing.”.

“In patients who have excessive production of thyroid hormones and are therefore suffering from hyperthyroidism, the skin is instead smooth, moist, warm and reddened. Heat and redness are particularly due to peripheral vasodilation and increased blood flow, and there is excessive sweating, hyperhidrosis, especially in the hands and feet. In 20-40% of patients with hyperthyroidism, there is widespread hair loss that is soft and thin, and in 5% there are changes to the nails, which grow faster and have longitudinal streaks and flattening of the surface.”.

Skin diseases associated with thyroid

“Thyroid disorders can be associated with various other skin conditions, many of them
autoimmunity, such as vitiligo, a skin pigmentation disorder that presents with
pale spots of various shapes and sizes. It is estimated that about 5 percent of patients with vitiligo have
autoimmune thyroid disorders such as Basedow’s disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Often
vitiligo precedes the onset of thyroid disease, and therefore a search for antibodies is very important
anti-thyroid in these people.”.

“Fortunately, most thyroid diseases can be diagnosed and treated in the
early stages without health consequences, and once proper levels of thyroid hormone are restored, the,
generally skin, hair and nail problems also disappear within a few weeks,” he concludes

World Thyroid Week

World Thyroid Week 2018, whose theme is “THYROID IS ENERGY,” and which will take place from 21 to
May 27 aims to promote the treatment and prevention of diseases of this important
gland. It is promoted by all clinical and surgical endocrinological societies such as,

  • the Italian Thyroid Association (AIT),
  • the Italian Society of Endocrinology (EIS),
  • the Association of Medical Endocrinologists (AME),
  • the Italian Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Diabetology (SIEDP),
  • the Italian Association of Nuclear Physicians (AIMN),
  • the Italian United Society of Endocrine Surgery (SIUEC),
  • the Italian Society of Gerontology and Geriatrics (SIGG) together with the Committee of Associations of
    Endocrine Patients (CAPE) and will be sponsored by the European Thyroid Association (ETA), the Istituto
    Superiore di Sanità (ISS) and the Ministry of Health.

Various screening initiatives and information meetings on thyroid diseases will be organized throughout Italy.

For information you can consult World Thyroid Week and the Facebook page
dedicated “World Thyroid Week” where all prevention initiatives and
information dedicated to patients in Italian cities.