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Skin: A window for thyroid disease

Author: 
Neethu Mary George, Amruthavalli Potlapati and Narendra Gangaiah
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Introduction: Endocrine conditions form a major bulk of those visiting physicians and most of the conditions warrant immediate and long term treatment which otherwise can indirectly affect all the organ systems and adversely affect the ‘health’ of a person. Thyroid diseases are one of the most common endocrinological conditions with varying skin and appandageal manifestations. Skin is an organ that is visible to naked eyes and can at times show certain manifestations which point to an underlying disease. Unless the clinician has high index of suspicion, such conditions can go undetected. Hence it becomes imperative for clinicians and Dermatologists to have an idea about the cutaneous manifestations of endocrinological conditions and hence the study assess the skin manifestations in recently detected hyper and hypothyroid patients. Objectives: To evaluate the cutaneous, hair and nail findings and associated conditions in acquired thyroid disorders. Methodology: A cross sectional, descriptive study where 50 patients with recently detected thyroid disease were analysed for skin, hair and nail manifestations and associated diseases, after obtaining written informed consent. Results: The most common dermatological manifestation in hypothyroid patients were nail changes (88%) followed by dry rough skin(86%) and acanthosis (69%). In hyperthyroid patients, the most common manifestation was warm soft skin (50%) and nail changes(62.5%). The most common comorbid condition in hypothyroid was diabetes mellitus and that in hyperthyroid was chronic urticaria. Conclusion: By identifying the skin manifestations, it helps the clinicians to diagnose underlying endocrinopathy and hence helps the patient in receiving corrective rather than symptomatic treatment.

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