Thyroid Disorders and Skin Problems

Thyroid disorders are characterized by abnormal levels of thyroid hormone in the serum. Thyroid hormone has many roles in body metabolism. These include its involvement in the embryonic development of mammalian skin, the initiation and maintenance of hair growth, determination of epidermal thickness, and secretion of sebum.

When the normal amount of thyroid hormone is present to, the person is referred to as euthyroid. When the amount is excessive or reduced from normal, as may occur due to overactivity and underactivity of the thyroid gland, it may result in cutaneous changes, of various types. These skin alterations depend on the type of thyroid disease that occurs.


Primary hypothyroidism most commonly occurs as a result of autoimmune disease resulting in thyroid glandular failure.  The effect may be due to either inadequate circulating levels of thyroid hormone, or the resistance of target cells to thyroid action. The symptoms include those below:


The precise pathophysiology that underlies the characteristic cutaneous symptoms of hyperthyroidism still requires elucidation. Some associated symptoms are as follows:


Further Reading

Written by

Afsaneh Khetrapal

Afsaneh graduated from Warwick University with a First class honours degree in Biomedical science. During her time here her love for neuroscience and scientific journalism only grew and have now steered her into a career with the journal, Scientific Reports under Springer Nature. Of course, she isn’t always immersed in all things science and literary; her free time involves a lot of oil painting and beach-side walks too.

Last updated Feb 27, 2019


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