How do thyroid hormone levels affect the skin?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease)
Thyroid hormone levels can affect the way your skin looks and feels. If you have abnormally low thyroid levels -- a condition called hypothyroidism -- your skin may become very dry. If you have abnormally high thyroid levels (hyperthyroidism), you may sweat excessively, leading to wet, clammy skin. If you notice any skin changes, see your primary care doctor or a dermatologist. Depending on your symptoms, your doctor may want to test your thyroid hormone levels. 
Dr. Ellen Marmur, MD
Low thyroid hormone (hypothyroidism) causes fish scale–like thickening of the skin that's rough and dry (myxedema). The skin on the hands and feet can turn yellow, the hair on the eyebrows can fall out, other hair becomes coarse, and brittle, and the nails break easily. Hyperthyroidism, caused by too much thyroid hormone, creates the opposite reaction in the skin: it may become moist and smooth, with a tendency to flush and get red. Some people with hyperthyroidism get a bronzed appearance to the skin (melanoderma) and even melasma on the cheeks.
Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

More About this Book

Simple Skin Beauty: Every Woman's Guide to a Lifetime of Healthy, Gorgeous Skin

What if a leading dermatologist just happened to be your best friend and you could ask her anything? DR. ELLEN MARMUR, a world-renowned New York City dermatologist, answers all your questions with...

Continue Learning about Skin Care

Skin Care

Skin Care

Blueberries, dark chocolate and sunscreen are three things you need to keep skin beautiful, supple and smooth. Antioxidant-rich foods such as berries, dark chocolate, cantaloupe, citrus fruits and leafy greens provide the vitamins ...

you need for skins elasticity. Avoiding smoking prevents premature aging. But the number-one way to keep skin gorgeous is to stay out of the sun and away from tanning beds. The suns radiation causes skin damage, including wrinkles, age spots and skin cancer. Use a sunscreen that protects against UVA and UVB rays in an SPF of 15 or higher, and reapply often.

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.