Can Thyroid Diseases Cause Acne?

Can Thyroid Diseases Cause Acne?


Having anything go wrong with the thyroid gland can really cause some challenging issues for a person to overcome and push through. Thyroid diseases can create concerns with progesterone and estrogen levels, cancer, and even skin issues.


And for an adult, there is nothing more embarrassing and stressful than acne showing up on your face, when you thought the teenage years were far behind you.


Normally, doctors treat the symptoms of this problem, but they do not get to the root cause, even though 30% of adults develop acne and 75% of those adults are women, according to a Canadian Dermatology Association study.


This problem can arise even when patients are eating right, exercising, and living a healthy lifestyle.



Many times, doctors will try, for example, to put a woman on birth control to help with the issues of acne or spironolactone, which helps treat adult acne.


However, these methods are often a form of misdiagnosis, and ultimately only help for about a month or so. Then, the problem only continues to worsen with acne coming back with a vengeance, not only on the face, but on other areas of the body, too.


This is when the thyroid should be recognized as the main issue. Because this gland is an afterthought to most doctors, some patients have been misdiagnosed for over a decade.


Thyroid Importance

The thyroid gland, shaped like a butterfly, sits close to your neck. The thyroid’s job includes secreting hormones to be moved around by the circulatory system and controlling the body’s metabolism.


Specifically, the thyroid controls how quick food is burned in a person’s body.


In a way, the endocrine system has to live up to the thyroid’s standards of working, as if it is the boss telling the workers what to do.


Hormones head to every cell throughout the body when the thyroid is ready to release its contents. The body is not at its healthiest point if the thyroid is not working properly.


Dr. Broda O. Barnes, an American physician for over 50 years, speaks more to this saying that “health begins and ends with the proper balance of the endocrine system.” When the thyroid is not performing at its best, health issues start to appear which include acne.


Hypothyroidism, or a low thyroid, is actually one of the main causes of acne breakouts in adults. However, there are many more serious side effects such as slow growth and repair within the body and depleted energy.



One of the first texts that spoke about hypothyroidism came from Dr. Barnes’ book entitled “Hypothyroidism: The Unsuspected Illness.”


At the time when this research was published, in 1970, Dr. Barnes stated that more than 40% of citizens from the United States of America had low thyroid health.


Today, the statistics would state that more than half the population has hypothyroidism to blame for many health issues, some of which can be deadly like lung cancer and heart disease. Even mental health issues have correlations with a faulty thyroid.


Researchers still have much to learn about hypothyroidism, but some believe this problem can come from excessive exercising and diets that focus too much on cabbage (especially if left uncooked), nuts, lentils, beans, and other items.


The Thyroid and Acne

Acne actually minimizes or becomes non-existent when the thyroid is working at peak condition. Also, vitamin A helps out diminishing acne, too.


When these two things are not present or working in the body, the thyroid begins to struggle with converting cholesterol into other substances like progesterone, which helps a woman’s body out tremendously during pregnancy, or pregnenolone, which helps create neurons that relay information back to the brain.


Primarily, progesterone helps to prevent acne and can even cure it. At this point, many people think they should get medical progesterone and start using it to cure the problem.


This could not be further from the truth. If someone has a thyroid deficiency, added progesterone will not add more to the body to cure the thyroid.


The same problem will remain in the body that acne will still be present. Furthermore, adding progesterone and vitamin A, which is great for skin health, will actually suppress the thyroid even more if a person has hypothyroidism.


A balance must be found and had to relinquish acnes issues. If not, hypothyroidism will result in inflammation across the body, usually in the form of acne.


How to Know There is a Thyroid Problem

There are a variety of ways to check to see if you or someone near and dear to you has hypothyroidism. Let us start with a low pulse rate and body temperature. When both of these readings are low, this could mean trouble for your thyroid and the rest of the body.


Check your pulse rate by finding your heartbeat near your neck or on the wrist. Calculate how many times your heart beats over a 60 second period. Do not gauge your heartrate for 10 seconds and then multiple by 6. This could give you a very inaccurate reading. Temperature in the body can be tested with a thermometer under your armpit or tongue for the top reading.


First, make sure you get you reading in the morning. Next, leave the thermometer in place for 10 minutes for best results. Stay away from digital thermometers that you place in your ear or mouth because they are not as accurate as the ones you shake.


You may know you have a thyroid problem if (a) your heartrate is constantly slow and/or (b) if you are consistently getting a temperature reading off less than 98.6°F when you wake up in the morning.


Besides acne on the body, other symptoms of hypothyroidism include: cold feet and hands, constipation, and a struggle to lose weight. Even if weight it lost, the pounds come back ultimately. Blood tests can also help to understand if there is a thyroid problem or not. Since this is the least accurate test when diagnosing a thyroid’s health, it still may have some value if used as a last resort.


Blood testing happens in the form of a procedure called the Protein-Bound Iodine (PBI) test. This test began being used in the 1940s and was not even performed to diagnose the thyroid. By accident, doctors found out it could be used to test the thyroid as well. In the end, this test has always been related to the thyroid for this reason.


Also, a test called the thyroid-stimulating hormone, or TSH, measurement is used to show the symptoms of low thyroid health. This test is classified as a panel blood test by doctors and researchers.


Treatment Options

Consider working on having a better diet with healthy nutritional value items, using supplements, and lowering your stress to help out you and your thyroid.


The more you exclude foods that have no value to the thyroid, the better your body will feel and the better your thyroid will act and perform. Try consuming more dairy products to help strength metabolism in the body. If metabolism can be increased in the body, vitamin A will also will be able to help the body more effectively.


Eat cheeses, ice cream, cottage cheese, milk shakes, milk, and even yogurt for best results. A dairy product should be consumed each and every day to help the thyroid. Other creams and butter also can do the trick of aiding the thyroid.


Next up on the menu should be more fruits and juices. Fruit naturally helps with the processing of the blood sugar and relaxes adrenal glands in the body. Try oranges, strawberries, pineapple, kiwi, and other fruits that are sweet and savory. Also, juice paired with a meat can help protein process quicker and more efficiently within the body. Consider drinking a few glasses of juice, like grape, orange, and cranberry per day.


If you are a lover of caffeine, then you will love this next dietary guideline for helping the thyroid. Caffeine helps speed up a person’s metabolism, making it easier to process food. Drink a cup of coffee or make a pot of tea and pair with some thyroid-friendly food. Magnesium, which comes from both of these drinks, is the reason why caffeine is so beneficial. Hot chocolate could do the trick, too.


Hopefully, you are a fan of shellfish because it helps the thyroid as well. Seafood has essential protein that greatly impacts the body positively. Shellfish like shrimp, crab, lobster, and oysters are full of the mineral zinc and can help greatly diminish the presence of acne on the body. Try consuming shellfish once a week to help solve your acne problem. You might even start to enjoy shellfish you have never tried before.


Supplements can also help the thyroid out greatly. By repairing the thyroid, supplements like Synthroid, Glandular Thyroid, and Cytomel are all used to win the battle against hypothyroidism by helping the thyroid covert T4 to T3 more often and on time when the body needs it. Remember, these options are on a prescription basis only and will never be given over the counter, so discuss this with your doctor if you are interested in this idea.


Lastly, lower stress can limit thyroid complications. If you are dealing with major stress in your life, consider some important life changes to lessen the problem.


Do you have a stressful job at this time in your life? Can you limit what you do or find a different job that will not be as stressful or harmful to your body?


Are you in an unhealthy relationship that needs to be ended or needs to be talked through with counseling? Would more exercise help you find peace during the day? Could you find more time for hobbies you enjoy participating in?


These questions may be some of the same questions asked when figuring out how to limit stress for you. Then, all you have to do is set a game-plan and make it happen.


This actually can be the hardest part because humanity has a hard time putting things to action. Get someone to keep you accountable, so you will be able to successfully make your stress-relievers happen.



Ultimately, thyroid issues vary from person and person and not all treatments will work the same for each individual.


Still, it is imperative that you find what works for you when solving your acne thyroid problem.


Do not give up on finding the solution because once everything has been fixed, not only will your acne go away, but your thyroid issues will lessen, too.


Look for a long-term solution and not something that will just get your by for the time being because acne could be the result of a serious thyroid problem that needs to be solved.

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