Thyroid Reference Guide
Scaly and dry skin: The thyroid hormone plays a crucial role in regulating skin cell turnover and maintaining the skin’s natural moisture.

Scaly and dry skin

Scaly and dry skin could be due to various factors; one of the common causes in women is an underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism). The thyroid hormone plays a crucial role in regulating skin cell turnover and maintaining the skin’s natural moisture. When the thyroid hormone production is low, it can result in dry, scaly, and flaky skin.

How do you fix dry scaly skin?

To fix dry scaly skin, consider adopting these practices:

  • Use a gentle, fragrance-free cleanser to avoid stripping natural oils from the skin.
  • Apply a rich, unscented moisturizer right after bathing to help lock in moisture.
  • Use a humidifier in your home to increase humidity levels.
  • Limit bath and shower time and use lukewarm water instead of hot water.
  • Wear soft, non-irritating clothing, preferably made from natural fabrics like cotton.
  • If your dry skin is due to an underlying medical issue such as thyroid disorder, seeking medical advice and treatment can help.

What vitamin deficiency causes dry skin?

Vitamin deficiency that can lead to dry skin includes:

  • Vitamin A: critical for cell growth, regeneration, and maintaining the skin’s barrier function.
  • Vitamin D: assists in maintaining the skin’s integrity, promoting healing, and reducing inflammation.
  • Vitamin E: an antioxidant that helps protect the skin from free radical damage and maintains skin moisture.
  • Essential fatty acids (Omega-3 and Omega-6): crucial for maintaining healthy cell membranes and skin hydration.

What disease causes scaly skin?

Several diseases can cause scaly skin, such as:


Underactive thyroid can lead to dry, scaly skin.


Psoriasis is a common, chronic skin condition. It affects around 2-3% of the global population. The condition results from rapid skin cell production, leading to red, raised patches on the skin’s surface. Typically, these patches are covered with white or silver scales.

The cause of psoriasis remains unknown. However, experts believe genetic and environmental factors play a role. For instance, individuals with a family history of the condition are more likely to develop it themselves. Additionally, certain triggers can cause a psoriasis flare-up. Such triggers include stress, skin injuries, and certain medications.

Psoriasis presents in various forms, with plaque psoriasis being the most common type. Other types include guttate, inverse, pustular, and erythrodermic psoriasis. Moreover, the severity of the condition ranges from mild to severe, with the affected skin surface area as the determining factor.

Unfortunately, there is no known cure for psoriasis. Treatment aims to manage the symptoms and prevent flare-ups. Topical treatments, such as corticosteroids and vitamin D analogs, are often used for mild-to-moderate cases. For more severe cases, systemic medications or biologics may be necessary. Additionally, lifestyle changes, stress reduction, and a healthy diet can help alleviate symptoms.


Ichthyosis defines a group of skin disorders characterized by dry, thickened, and scaly skin. It affects people of all ages, genders, and ethnicities. The name comes from the Greek word “ichthys,” which means fish, as the skin resembles fish scales. This condition can be both hereditary and acquired.

Collagen Complex against scaly and dry skinHereditary ichthyosis results from genetic mutations passed from parents to children. It often appears at birth or during infancy. The most common form is called ichthyosis vulgaris, which usually presents as mild scaling on the limbs. Another severe form, lamellar ichthyosis, involves widespread thick scales all over the body that can impair movement.

Acquired ichthyosis occurs later in life due to underlying diseases, medications, or other factors. Common causes include kidney failure, thyroid disorders, and certain cancers such as lymphoma. In this case, addressing the underlying cause usually improves the skin condition.

Treatment for ichthyosis mainly revolves around managing the symptoms. Medical professionals often recommend using moisturizers, exfoliants, and topical retinoids to improve skin hydration and reduce scaling. In some cases, they may also prescribe oral medications like isotretinoin for severe cases. However, there is no cure for ichthyosis, so consistent skincare routines are crucial for managing the condition.

Atopic dermatitis (eczema)

Atopic dermatitis, also known as eczema, is a common chronic skin condition. It typically starts in childhood affecting up to 20% of children and 3% of adults worldwide. Often, it runs in families with a history of allergies or asthma. Atopic dermatitis presents as itchy, red, and inflamed patches of skin, which can sometimes ooze and crust over.

The exact cause of eczema remains unclear; however, researchers believe a combination of genetics and environmental factors play a role. For example, defects in the skin barrier allow allergens, irritants, and bacteria to penetrate the skin, leading to inflammation. Furthermore, immune system overactivity contributes to the worsening of symptoms.

To manage eczema, healthcare providers usually recommend a combination of treatments. First, moisturizing the skin regularly improves the skin barrier and decreases itchiness. Consequently, using over-the-counter or prescription creams and ointments can help ease inflammation. Avoiding known triggers like allergens, irritants, and harsh soaps is also essential in reducing flare-ups.

In more severe cases, doctors may prescribe oral medications or phototherapy (light therapy) to control symptoms. Lastly, addressing underlying issues such as stress and anxiety can play a crucial part in managing atopic dermatitis.

Seborrheic dermatitis

Seborrheic dermatitis is a common skin condition, primarily affecting the scalp and face. It is a chronic, yet non-contagious disorder. The primary symptoms include redness, itching, and flaking of the skin. Often, dandruff results from this condition. However, it can also appear on other oily parts of the body, such as the chest, back, and ears.

ValotinThe exact cause of seborrheic dermatitis remains unknown. However, factors such as genetics, stress, hormonal changes, and a weakened immune system potentially play a role. Also, some studies suggest a connection with Malassezia, a yeast fungus living on the skin’s surface. This fungus may trigger inflammation and excessive skin cell growth in some individuals.

Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination and a review of the patient’s medical history. In some cases, a skin biopsy might be necessary to rule out other skin conditions. Fortunately, various treatments can help manage seborrheic dermatitis. Over-the-counter medicated shampoos, creams, and lotions containing ingredients like ketoconazole, salicylic acid, and zinc pyrithione can be effective. Additionally, prescription-strength medications, such as corticosteroid creams, can help reduce inflammation and itching.

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