Do I Have a Dry Scalp Due to Thyroid Problems?

Linda White

Health conditions, such as thyroid problems, can be the reason for a dry scalp.

Thyroid disease of any kind can cause many different symptoms. Sometimes, it can even lead to hair loss. More commonly, though, it leads to irritation of the skin and dry scalp. Typically, you will experience other symptoms of a thyroid disorder.

Knowing the cause of a dry scalp is important as it makes it easier to treat it properly. Most people don’t think of a thyroid problem as being the reason, but it shouldn’t be ruled out.

The thyroid gland releases certain hormones. These hormones are directly connected to certain functions of the body. One of those functions is hair growth. If that is disrupted in any way, it can lead to a dry scalp, flaking, irritation, soreness, and other unpleasant skin problems.

Can Thyroid Problems Cause Itchy Scalp?

This guide will focus on different thyroid conditions that might affect the scalp. People with thyroid problems face two conditions. These are hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism. We will break down these two conditions. Once you know more about them, it’s easier to determine how they can cause changes to your skin.

The symptoms of thyroid conditions can be different for everyone. Knowing the differences makes it easier to get the right kind of treatment. We’ll also cover possible connections between different conditions. For example, thyroid issues are often linked to psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis.

Don’t overlook the hormonal gland if you suffer from an overly dry scalp. Let’s look at what symptoms you can expect from these issues.

What Is the Thyroid Gland?

The thyroid gland serves the same functions for everyone. It is located at the base of the neck. Typically, it is described as ‘butterfly-shaped.’ The main purpose of the gland is to regulate your body’s metabolism. How fast your metabolism determines how much energy your body uses. The thyroid also releases hormones that control or aid in other functions of the body.

These functions include:

  • Body temperature
  • Weight
  • Heart rate
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Nervous system

There are more functions of the thyroid gland. But, these are the most commonly known. It does these by releasing hormones into the bloodstream.

There are two types of hormones released by the thyroid gland. These hormones are called Triiodothyronine (T3) and Thyroxine (T4). It is important that these hormones are balanced throughout your body. They are controlled by the brain, signaling out how much of each to produce. It’s so important they are balanced because they affect so many different things.

When the body produces too much of these hormones, it is known as hyperthyroidism. Both of these conditions can cause several issues within the body. Some of them can lead to serious health concerns.

Does Hyperthyroidism Cause an Itchy Scalp?

Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is overly-active. It produces too much T3 and T4. This can cause some of your body’s most basic processes to speed up. While that might not seem like a problem, too much of it can create a lot of stress and health problems.

Some common symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Weight loss
  • Anxiety
  • Trembling hands

Thyroid hormones can also have a direct impact on hair follicles. If the gland isn’t functioning the way it should, you may start to notice issues with your hair and scalp. This can include things like itching, dryness, and hair loss.

It can take years for some people to notice the symptoms of a thyroid that isn’t functioning properly. Some noticeable signs to look out for when it comes to your hair are sudden dryness and a change in texture. Your hair may become limp, lifeless, and weak. For people with hyperthyroidism, a general thinning of the hair is more common.

Hypothyroidism and Scalp Sores

Hypothyroidism can affect the hair and scalp negatively, too. Like hyperthyroidism, you might experience thinning of hair all over the head. But, you’ll probably also notice it elsewhere on the body. Hypothyroidism is usually associated with more hair loss. It can also cause patches of hair loss on the scalp. Circular sores can form, and larger clumps of hair may fall out at once.

Hypothyroidism occurs when your body isn’t producing enough of the hormones it needs to work correctly. Then, these hormones can’t get distributed the way they need to. It can cause quite a few problems throughout your system. Think of it as a machine that isn’t running at its full capacity. It causes your body to be more sluggish.

Common symptoms include:

  • Tiredness
  • Dry skin
  • Dry hair
  • Muscle aches
  • Joint pain
  • Depression

While hyperthyroidism can be a big problem, many people consider hypothyroidism to be even more serious. Not only can it trigger hair loss all over the body, but it can become painful quickly. Hypothyroidism can cause several negative changes to the skin of your scalp. These changes include things like open sores, rashes, and blisters. It can even cause scaling of the skin.

These types of sores are problematic for several reasons. First, they can be extremely painful and itchy. Sores that cause itching can lead to even more hair loss. They can also become inflamed and increase your risk of infection.

Whenever you have an open scab or sore of any kind on your scalp, it’s dangerous. Scratching at it increases your chances of it becoming infected. If you ever notice these scabs and sores bleeding, you should take immediate action to treat them.

Psoriasis and the Thyroid Connection

You may not know there is a connection between several skin conditions and thyroid issues. They most commonly occur with hypothyroidism. One of the most prominent skin conditions connected with thyroid problems is psoriasis of the scalp.

Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition that affects the skin. It is a condition that cannot be cured. But, it can be treated. Most people dealing with psoriasis can live completely normal and comfortable lives. They do this by controlling the things that trigger flare-ups.

Psoriasis flare-ups are triggered by different things for everyone. Some common triggers include stress or a weakened immune system. When you have a thyroid disorder, your immune system can easily be affected. This can lead to some severe cases of psoriasis on the scalp.

The symptoms of scalp psoriasis include thick, red patches of skin. They can almost look like scales on the scalp. Even though the skin looks thick and rough, it can bleed easily when scratched or picked. As you know, that can lead to infection and extreme pain.

When psoriasis is linked to a thyroid condition, it can also cause a buildup of dead cells on the scalp. That will usually cause even more itching. If you do scratch on the skin, it could also lead to flaking and even more irritation.

Coping with Psoriasis

If you have a thyroid disorder causing skin issues, the best thing you can do is treat the disorder first. You may be experiencing other symptoms, too. If you’re not sure of the connection, these symptoms could go away with the right medication.

Again, it isn’t possible to ‘cure’ psoriasis. But, it can be managed. Managing this condition can get rid of pain and the sensation to scratch. It can also reduce the unsightly appearance of scalp sores.

One of the best ways to treat scalp psoriasis is using the right product. Medicated shampoos and coal tar shampoos are the most common solutions to find relief. Most medicated shampoos contain something called ketoconazole. This is a topical steroid that helps to reduce inflammation.

The best shampoo for scalp psoriasis is Neutrogena T/Gel Therapeutic Shampoo. It can prevent itching, flaking, and scaling. After just one use, you should notice fast relief from common psoriasis symptoms. It is the number one option recommended by dermatologists for many skin conditions, including scalp psoriasis.

Is Seborrheic Dermatitis Linked to Thyroid Issues?

Seborrheic dermatitis is also often linked to thyroid disorders. It is a chronic skin condition that is also not treatable. But, it is manageable much like psoriasis. Sometimes, people confuse it with psoriasis. While the two have many similar symptoms, psoriasis can also affect other areas of the body more frequently. They also vary slightly in appearance. Seborrheic dermatitis often results in sores that weep and ooze.

Like psoriasis, seborrheic dermatitis can often be treated with medicated shampoos. Sometimes, an antifungal shampoo may be needed. Many people also turn toward natural solutions to find pain relief. One of the best ways to find relief from this condition is with aloe.

Aloe vera has many benefits for a dry scalp. It has vitamins and amino acids your body needs. These vitamins may be lacking if you have hypothyroidism and your body isn’t producing them efficiently. It is also a soothing treatment option. Pure aloe vera can reduce inflammation and provide cooling relief to open sores.

Hypothyroidism and Hair Loss

As stated above, thyroid disorders can be commonly linked with hair loss. While you may notice other symptoms first, hair thinning can be a big problem for people with hypothyroidism. It is more common in women than men. Women are also more likely to notice these changes faster. They are usually more drastic.

When you have a low level of thyroid hormones, your body isn’t producing what it needs to function the right way. One of these functions is regenerating cells. When your body can’t create cells quickly, your hair follicles can’t work. This causes the hair to fall out easily. It also makes it difficult to grow hair fast enough so you won’t notice a difference.

Hypothyroidism also contributes to nutrient deficiencies. This is another factor that can cause hair loss. When your body isn’t able to distribute the nutrients it needs, it’s obviously a problem. It will take the nutrients it does receive and send them to essential areas.

The nutrients will make sure your essential organs keep working, etc. Hair growth isn’t usually a priority for these nutrients. So, it can ‘fall behind’ if your body is focused on keeping other areas functioning properly.

Why is my scalp dry and itchy?

What Are the Right Foods for Hair Growth?

If you aren’t getting nutrients due to a thyroid disorder, you can combat it by switching up your diet. Eating foods that promote hair growth can help to offset some thyroid issues preventing it.

Some of the best foods for keeping your hair healthy include the following:

  • Almonds – These contain healthy fat, protein, and a lot of biotins. You only need a small handful a day to start to see results quickly.
  • Avocados – Avocados are loaded with healthy fats and omega-3s for hair growth. They will also help your hair to look shiny and silky.
  • Salmon – This contains a lot of healthy fat. It is also loaded with protein, which is necessary for strong hair. Not only does it encourage healthy hair, but a healthy scalp.
  • Spinach – Spinach is rich in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. Both of these essential nutrients can help your hair grow faster and strengthen it.
  • Greek yogurt – Protein is a building block of healthy hair. Greek yogurt contains a large amount of protein. It can also help to repair damaged skin cells on the scalp.
  • Eggs – They contain quite a bit of protein, too. They also contain enough biotin to help strengthen your roots. Eggs can help to increase oxygen and blood flow, too. This improvement in circulation can encourage new hair to grow.

Any foods rich in Vitamin B are a good choice. Foods containing biotin are important. Biotin helps to convert your food into energy. It is also an essential component for healthy hair and nail growth.

While changing your diet can’t completely reverse the effects of a thyroid disorder, it can help. If hypothyroidism is causing your hair to thin out, eat the right things for hair growth.

How to Cope with a Dry Scalp Due to Thyroid Disorder

If you have a thyroid disorder, you may notice dry skin all over your body. A dry scalp can be even more problematic. It causes itching and flaking. That can quickly lead to a lot of pain and embarrassment. Getting the right medications and treatment from your doctor is the best thing you can do for a thyroid disorder.

But, there are also tips you can use to combat dry skin safely. Hypothyroidism can wreak havoc on your skin and change the way it looks and feels.

These tips can help to keep your complexion healthy and your scalp feeling less dry and itchy:

  • Use moisturizing ingredients. Have a dry scalp probably will affect your hair. But, you can’t just ‘treat’ your hair and ignore the skin underneath. The right hair product can make a difference. But, it has to be strong enough to penetrate to the scalp. Moisturizing ingredients found in these products can help to rehydrate the skin. Try to work with natural ingredients whenever possible. This will help to prevent a buildup of chemicals and residue on your scalp.
  • Stay hydrated. Did you know you can combat dry skin from the inside out? One of the best ways to do it is by making sure you’re always hydrated. Drink plenty of water if you have an especially dry scalp. Also, try to limit drinks that can dehydrate you. You should avoid alcohol as much as possible. It can pull moisture from your skin and increase the problem.
  • Take cooler, shorter showers. Hot water can be a big contributor to dry skin. Showering a lot can also pull moisture from your scalp. It may not sound appealing at first, but taking cooler showers less often can make a big difference. Once you notice how your skin responds, it will become easier to deal with the cooler temperature of the water.

How to Cope with Thinning Hair Due to Thyroid Disorder

Again, no matter what symptoms you have due to a thyroid disorder, the right medication is key. Like dry skin problems, though, you can combat thinning hair issues. With the right tips and tricks, you can lessen the chances of losing a lot of hair.

These aren’t permanent solutions to a thyroid problem. They are specifically designed to help with one symptom. But, they can make you feel better about the appearance of your hair while you’re dealing with the disorder.

  • Improve your circulation. Some hair treatments help to increase blood flow and circulation. When your circulation is boosted, it can also give your hair follicles a boost. This helps to prevent hair loss. It can also increase the production of new hair.
  • Be gentle with your hair. We put our locks through a lot on a daily basis. You may not even realize it. Try to avoid pulling or tugging. Don’t wear your hair in high, tight styles. Don’t use harsh chemical treatments that could cause damage.
  • Find a new style. If you can’t seem to stop hair thinning right away, you can at least ‘hide’ it. Try a new hairstyle, or switch it up with hats, scarves, or even wigs. These might not be permanent fixes. But, they can help give you confidence and make you feel better about your thinning tresses.

Hypothyroidism and an overly dry scalp

How Do I Know if Hair Loss is Due to Thyroid?

Your doctor will need to give you an official thyroid disorder diagnosis. There are so many factors that can contribute to hair loss and thinning. You may even have a thyroid disorder but another problem at the same time that causes dry scalp. So, they would be unrelated. Getting an official diagnosis will help you to get the right treatment.

Thyroid treatment won’t help with other triggers that cause dry scalp or hair loss. Even a nutrient deficiency can’t always be treated with thyroid medication. Getting to the cause of a dry scalp is the key. A dermatologist should be able to help you determine the cause if it isn’t directly related to a thyroid problem.

That doesn’t mean you should ignore your thyroid issue. There are many symptoms connected with thyroid problems. They can cause just as much havoc on your body as hair loss and dry scalp. Try to get the right diagnosis for every health issue you’re facing. That will help you to receive the treatment(s) you need.

Can I Prevent My Scalp from Becoming Overly Dry?

Most people with thyroid disorders experience symptoms differently. You may not get the same symptoms someone else with the same disorder gets. There aren’t many ways to prevent the symptoms you do get from happening. That includes a dry, itchy scalp.

The good news is that thyroid medication has come a long way. Thyroid disorders are fairly common. Many people depend on medication to balance out the number of hormones their thyroid produces. Without the right medications, it would be a constant struggle for people with overactive or underactive thyroid glands.

With the right treatment, you can fight the symptoms of a thyroid disorder. Unfortunately, it may not be preventable altogether. People experience thyroid problems for different reasons. But, if you combine treatment and healthy hair habits, you have a good chance of managing the condition.

Thyroid problems that lead to other issues, like psoriasis, need to be treated accordingly, too. If you experience a few conditions at once, treating the one causing the major problems can make treating the others an easier experience. Thyroid disorders can be managed fairly easily nowadays. Make sure you get an official diagnosis. Once you do, you can start giving your hair and scalp the nutrients and hormones they need.

Copyright 2018 by DryScalpGone.