Our skin is pretty amazing. As the largest organ in your body, it protects against infection, regulates body temperature, and warns us of danger. When you accidentally touch your hot curling iron, it’s your skin that warns your brain of the burn. Skin provides a barrier to keep harmful bacteria out. It’s also pretty important to our appearance.
Healthy skin gives us that glowing, youthful look. So when we start to notice wrinkles and discoloration, we may blame it on aging, but it could be more than that. Skin also gives us clues as to what is going on inside. From redness to itching, skin changes may signal a change in internal health. Many health conditions start with skin changes, so be on the lookout for even small things. It could save you time at the doctor later on!
Our skin protects us from threats. Hives and itchy skin often mean we have an allergy to something in our environment. Hives are raised, blotchy, red areas all over the body. Hives can be caused by anything we’re allergic to, like medication, food, pets, insect stings, or pollen from flowers.
So if you’ve discovered that you break out every time you are around cats, ask your cat-loving friend to meet you out rather than going to her place. Hives can pop up right away or even hours after seeing the little furballs, so try to avoid getting too close.
You know your friend who looks like she’s hit the tanning bed too hard? Well, her orange hue might actually be from low thyroid. Beta-carotene, an antioxidant found in orange produce like
carrots and sweet potatoes, is processed in the thyroid. So when the thyroid isn’t working, beta-carotene builds up in the blood, causing the skin to take on an orange color.
Skin health also includes hair and nail health. Some women with low thyroid start to notice brittle hair and nails, as well as dull skin. Low thyroid also causes fatigue and intolerance to heat and cold. Don’t worry, these symptoms should all go away as soon as it’s treated.
Women with overactive thyroid may be noticing more hair in the shower drain. Dry, brittle hair can be a sign of low or overactive thyroid.
One of the first signs of signs of diabetes is from the skin. People with diabetes have uncontrolled blood sugar levels. These levels lead to changes in the skin. The blood vessels in the skin change, and lead to thick, shiny areas on the skin called “plaques.”
People with advanced diabetes will notice a decreased sensation in their skin, because of decreased circulation. So if you’re walking barefoot on the beach, you may not even notice that you cut your foot on a rock. If your diabetes is advanced, it’s always a good idea to regularly check your skin.