How The Endocrine System Affects Your Skin
Is healthy skin a priority? Got a skincare problem you cannot diagnose? Maybe your Endocrine System is to blame.
There is so much that we do (or don’t do) that affects our skin, how it looks and feels. The body is a complex system and the condition of the skin, how it functions, is in part, the responsibility of the Endocrine System – a group of glands that secrete hormones directly into the blood stream where it is used by specific organs or where is performs specific functions.
Given that the skin is our largest organ, it’s no surprise that the health of our Endocrine System affects the skin.
The Pituitary Gland – although this is a tiny gland (located at the back of the brain) it plays a major role in the Endocrine System – it regulates the growth of bone and body tissues, including the skin. It’s so important to healthy skin that synthetic versions of the hormone are manufactured for use in skincare products.
The pituitary gland releases a hormone that controls the balance of water in the body. A malfunctioning pituitary could lead to chronic dehydration, sallow skin, lack of energy and headaches.
The Anterior Lobe of the Pituitary gland increases pigmentation in the skin.
The Thyroid Gland – this glad controls the metabolism – the rate at which we burn energy. Increased energy promotes increased blood circulation which makes the skin healthy and glowing.
When the Thyroid is not producing enough hormone you can develop hypothyroidism. Hypothyroidism leaves the skin very dry, coarse, thickened and sensitive. Sweating is decreased and the skin looks sallow and dull. Fingernails will become brittle and dry.
If the thyroid produces too much hormone, you develop hyperthyroidism. This condition results in excessive sweating, clammy, flushed skin, and itching.
The Parathyroid Glands – these are attached to the Thyroid and regulate calcium levels in the blood. These glands are influenced by the skin’s exposure to sunlight – necessary for the production of vitamin D in the body.
The Pineal Gland – this gland releases melatonin which helps regulate sleep. As you know, lack of sleep leads to a myriad health problems, including the ability for the body to maintain healthy skin and repair it at night while sleeping. Lack of sleep shows up as puffy eyes, dark circles, dull lifeless skin.
Ovaries – these produce estrogen and progesterone. In the skin, estrogens affect the thickness of the skin, skin moisture and wrinkle formation. They help maintain fluid balance and structural integrity of the skin and increase collagen production to maintain epidermal thickness and allow skin to remain plump, hydrated and wrinkle-free. A dip in estrogen levels can result in a loss of collagen and elastin which promotes early signs of aging and can also stimulate acne.
The Adrenal Gland – this is the gland that regulates the body’s response to stress and our anti-inflammatory pathways. As you know stress and inflammation affect the skin and its reaction to products, the environment and treatments.