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Can Thyroid Issues Cause Acne?

Updated: Nov 8, 2023

Acne is a common skin condition that affects millions of individuals worldwide. It can be extremely unpleasant, and people spend millions of dollars each year looking for the best creams, ointments, and medication to treat it.

While looking for a solution to your acne, you might be wondering if thyroid issues are to blame. So you head to Google to search, “Can thyroid issues cause acne?”

Elixir and Wellness is here to answer your thyroid and acne questions. As functional medicine practitioners, we will take a holistic view of acne and see if we can’t pinpoint any root causes related to the thyroid. The thyroid gland, after all, is one of the main hormone regulators in the body, and many cases of acne are influenced by hormones.

Let’s dive into how thyroid issues can contribute to acne development and how you can holistically care for your skin.

The Thyroid Gland, Hormones, and Acne

The thyroid gland, located in the neck, produces hormones that are essential for maintaining metabolic rate, energy levels, and overall well-being. The two primary hormones secreted by the thyroid are thyroxine (T4) and triiodothyronine (T3), which influence various bodily processes, including skin health. A malfunctioning thyroid can disrupt the delicate balance of hormones in the body, potentially leading to various health issues, including acne.

But do thyroid issues cause acne? Not directly. The hormones mostly to blame for acne are androgens, often referred to as male hormones. These androgens increase in both males and females during adolescence, leading to increased oil production in the skin. This excess oil, along with dead skin cells and bacteria, can clog pores, resulting in acne breakouts. However, the thyroid isn’t in charge of this hormone.

Instead, dermatologists often suspect thyroid disorders when people have certain skin conditions, such as alopecia and vitiligo. Thyroid issues often lead to dry skin. Dry skin can lead to clogged pores or over-moisturization, which can then lead to acne. But to summarize…

While thyroid issues do not directly cause acne, they do affect hormone levels and leave people susceptible to acne.

Hypothyroidism and Acne

One of the most common thyroid conditions treated by functional medicine practitioners is hypothyroidism. In cases of hypothyroidism, the thyroid doesn’t produce enough thyroid hormone.

Doctors don’t often associate hypothyroidism with acne, but key symptoms can lead to pimples. For example, the associated hormonal imbalances can trigger inflammation and compromise the skin's ability to heal, potentially leading to persistent or worsened acne. Hypothyroidism often leads to fatigue and depression. Individuals experiencing these symptoms might find it harder to eat healthy, get exercise, sleep enough, and maintain proper hygiene. On top of that, elevated stress leads to worse acne.

Do these symptoms describe your situation? If so, your thyroid issues may be indirectly impacting your acne.

How to Manage Acne

Whether or not your acne is caused by thyroid issues, you’ll want to take care of your face and resolve the issue. At Elixir and Wellness, we recommend a holistic approach that involves a number of lifestyle changes:

Thyroid and Hormone Treatment

Most chronic acne is caused by a hormone imbalance (thyroid or otherwise). Treating the underlying hormone condition is important. Treatment plans may include hormone replacement therapy for hypothyroidism or medications to regulate hormone production in hyperthyroidism.

Skincare Routine

A consistent skincare routine can help manage acne symptoms. Use gentle cleansers, non-comedogenic products, and oil-free moisturizers to prevent clogged pores. Avoid harsh scrubbing, as it can make inflammation worse.

Diet and Lifestyle

A balanced diet rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals can support skin health. Avoiding processed foods and refined sugars may help mitigate inflammation. Adequate sleep, stress management, and regular exercise can also positively impact both thyroid function and acne.

Consultation with Elixir and Wellness

Getting to the root cause of your hormone and lifestyle issues isn’t easy. If regular facial hygiene doesn’t clear up your acne, you may need the help of a functional medicine practitioner. If you suspect a thyroid issue is contributing to your acne, come to us for advice.

Fix Your Hormones and Experience Less Acne, More Energy, and a More Vibrant Life

Thyroid issues don’t directly cause acne, but secondary complications can make acne worse. At Elixir and Wellness, we’re hormone experts. We work with our patients to get to the bottom of their hormone issues.

Stop avoiding social events and spending money on face cleansers that don’t work. It’s time that you experienced healing from the inside out. Call Elixir and Wellness to set up a consultation. Ask us questions and see if functional medicine is right for you.

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