Posted by Michelle on 6/14/2014 to Skin Advice
Acne breakout is often associated with hormonal changes; hence its usual onset in adolescence. But if you neither have oily skin - which often results to clogged pores and consequently creates a perfect breeding ground for bacteria - nor adolescent any longer, perhaps you need to have a different type of hormone checked - that produced by the thyroid.
The connection between hypothyroidism (low thyroid function) and acne is rather complex but it can be broken down into the interrelationship between low thyroid levels causing low progesterone; low progesterone leading to high DHT (dihydrotestosterone); and high DHT resulting to excess sebum production. This is also the reason why premenstrual women tend to suffer from breakouts as their periods are approaching; about 7 to 10 days before menstruation, both estrogen and progesterone levels dip causing high DHT.
Thyroid problems, or if that is ruled out, reproductive hormones are likely the reason why many sufferers of adult acne do not respond well to topical anti-acne creams. These medications do provide temporary relief, but to 'cure' acne, you really have to look into the root cause of the problem. A simple test of your T3/T4 and TSH (thyroid hormones) will reveal your thyroid status. Low numbers usually manifest in sluggishness, low basal body temperature (temperature upon waking up), slow pulse rate and chronic depression, among others.
What makes hypothyroidism difficult to detect is that its individual symptoms are often mistaken as indications of less serious conditions. As a result, it is not surprising that so many adults complain of acne that won’t go away due to thyroid problems that remain undiagnosed.
Hypothyroidism is one of the readily treated thyroid disorders. Depending on the severity of your condition, you may need to take thyroid supplements for the rest of your life, and couple medication with adjunctive diet and thyroid-supportive lifestyle. Dairy products, salt and coffee help elevate metabolism; coconut oil's butyric acid helps move thyroid hormones into the brain; animal protein increases production of the hormone T4 and activates that to T3; and shellfish encourages proper thyroid function and contains trace minerals like zinc that combat acne. Liver is also a thyroid-supportive food while vitamin A needs to be increased for people with hypothyroidism since this condition prevents the conversion of beta-carotene to vitamin A. Cod, salmon, and halibut are excellent sources.