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The thyroid gland and your skin

Did you know the health of your thyroid has an influence over the appearance of your skin?

Your thyroid gland produces hormones that regulate your metabolism, helping you to maintain a healthy weight and a healthy body temperature.  Thyroid hormones enable the cells of your body to produce energy and they also help to influence your mood and cognitive function.

If your thyroid gland is under active, this usually causes your skin to become dry.  Fine lines and wrinkles appear earlier and are more noticeable.  It is well known that an under active thyroid gland will age you more rapidly.  Another common symptom is brittle nails that break easily, and dry, brittle hair that is prone to splitting.  Some women also experience dry eyes. Most women with an under active thyroid gland also notice excessive loss of hair from their scalp.  Sometimes the eyebrows become thinner or you may lose the outer third of your eyebrows.

An under active thyroid gland often causes fluid retention and puffy skin.  Therefore you may find that you have bags under your eyes, and you may experience bloating in other areas, such as your abdomen, fingers, legs and ankles.

If you experience these symptoms, I strongly recommend you visit your doctor and ask for a thyroid blood test.  Hypothyroidism (under active thyroid) is extremely common and often remains undiagnosed for many years.  It causes fatigue, but many people attribute that to a busy lifestyle or poor sleep.  Therefore a thyroid problem can go undetected for a long time.

Luckily there are many natural solutions for thyroid conditions.  One explanation for the escalating incidence of thyroid problems is vitamin and mineral deficiencies.  Your thyroid gland needs high amounts of iodine because thyroid hormones are actually built from iodine (as well as the amino acid tyrosine).  Iodine deficiency is extremely common because most people do not eat enough seafood or seaweed, which are the richest sources of iodine.  Your thyroid gland also needs zinc, as it helps the binding of thyroid hormone to receptor sites, thus allowing thyroid hormones to function in your body.

Selenium deficiency is extremely common because there is very little selenium in the soil of many parts of the world.  You need selenium in order to convert thyroid hormone into its active form (called T3).  Selenium is very beneficial for people who are taking thyroid hormone medication because it allows the body to utilize the medication more effectively.  Lastly, vitamin D deficiency is widespread because most people do not receive adequate exposure to sunlight, either because of their occupation or because they live in a part of the world that does not receive much sunshine for much of the year.

Thyroid Health capsules contain iodine, selenium, zinc and vitamin D.

Additional tips for healthy skin

  • Try to get between 7 and 8 hours of sleep each night.  How much and how well you sleep has an enormous effect on your complexion and how young you look. If you find it difficult to unwind and relax, taking a teaspoon of magnesium powder an hour before bed may help.
  • Drink lots of water every day; aim for 8 to 10 glasses.  Keeping well hydrated will help your skin to look plump and moist.
  • Find healthy ways to unwind.  Stress really does cause wrinkles.  Exercise, meditation, yoga, journal writing, speaking to a friend or counselor can all help.
  • Don’t smoke.  Smokers get a lot more lines around their mouth and eyes than non-smokers.
  • Eat an abundance of fresh vegetables and fruit and drink raw vegetable juices.  The antioxidants in fresh produce will minimize free radical damage to your skin.  Free radicals speed up aging. The carotenoid antioxidants in astaxanthin can help to protect your skin from the aging effects of the sun.
  • Sugar and alcohol are very aging.  They are dehydrating, deplete your body of antioxidants and promote free radical damage in your body.
  • Make sure you eat plenty of good fats. A low fat diet can leave you with wrinkly, dry skin. Healthy fats are found in olive, avocado and macadamia nut oil, as well as avocados, oily fish, coconut oil, pastured butter and pastured red meat. If you find it hard to include oily fish in your diet, a fish oil supplement may help.

For more information about keeping your thyroid gland healthy, see our book Your Thyroid Problems Solved.


  1. I am a 25 yr old female with Hashimoto’s (was diagnosed 4 yrs ago). This past April I noticed sudden skin texture changes on my face- I developed large pores, fine lines everywhere and I am now sensitive/red/burning to products I’ve always used. My under eyes sagged and I now have dark circles. The cheek areas on both sides of my nose are thicker/swollen in texture. I hardly even recognize myself in the mirror- I have aged so much I hardly even look like a 25 yr old. I have acne because I can’t use any cleansers on my face and I now have scarring. Also my skin seems to have lost its elasticity- pillow creases on my face will now take 2-3 hours to bounce back. I also noticed my skin seems thinner and more pale on my entire body- my dark blue veins are extremely visible everywhere. I am miserable because I have always taken great care of my skin and have worn sunscreen on my face for years- I’m now so self conscious. I have taken levothyroxine for years but since my thyroid hormone levels were never under control (bounced back and forth between 88 and 100 mcg) my Dr switched me to Armour Thyoid in July (1 Gr). I just met with a new Dr today and she thinks my symptoms could be related to my thyroid- she wants me to start on a compounded thyroid pill. I am hoping this will make my skin go back to the way it has always been!

    • Hi Jaime,

      We recommend you see your healthcare practitioner or specialist.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutrition Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

    • alexandra barilari

      Jamie I️ thought I was the only one, I’m 25 as well and have the same skin issues you are describing. I have also gone to great lengths to maintain my skin and it’s very disheartening to watch. Have any of the suggestions helped you so far?

    • First time I ever read that others have the same problem as I do. I’m really struggling with my self-confidence since my skin one year ago from one to another day just sank down, got really thin and started looking 10 years older. I’m 22 and I look like I’m in my 30s. I’ve got Hashimoto since puberty, but never had to deal with it a lot until then.
      It feels good to know that I’m not the only one, just needed to spread that, heads up!

      • I have been exact same issue, but I though it was due to another autoimmune disease I have. I am doing extensive research in the medical literature, and I have actually hired someone to help me with this. Has anyone seen improvement over time? I would love to keep in touch with one another so we can see what works. I am not sure if this site will allow email sharing, but if you respond to me I will see how we can exchange info.

        • I have had very good results with the following. I write to you because I got off track and am seeing skin issues creep in.

          Muscle testing doctor for targeted nutritional support
          No alcohol or caffeine
          Raw fruits and veggies
          Peaceful mind- the break on your digestive system will help get you there
          Yoga, prayer
          Coconut water
          Quality multi vitamin, see innate response on Amazon
          Minerals by bio pure
          Liver support such as bilemin by apex energetics

  2. Please help me for skin tang

    • Hi Isa,

      Skin tags can indicate elevated insulin which is associated with fatty liver.
      We suggest you get a test for diabetes as this symptom is often present in diabetes and get a liver function test and/or ultrasound scan of your liver.
      Dietary changes to reduce blood insulin levels and improve liver function include eliminating grains, sugar, processed food and takeout meals and increasing the amounts of good protein sources (poultry,seafood,eggs,lean meat), good fats (avocado,seafood,olive oil,coconut oil), fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds.
      There is an excellent eating plan in Dr Cabot’s books: ‘Fatty Liver: You Can Reverse It’ or ‘Diabetes Type 2: You Can Reverse It Naturally’.
      Please let us know your results so we can better recommend a supplemental regime.

      Kind Regards,
      Jessah Robinson
      Nutritional Consultant for Liverdoctor.com

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