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Study Shows Possible Link Between Thyroid Problems and Adult Acne

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Updated June 04, 2014

A study to be published in the Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology shows a possible link between thyroid autoimmunity and acne in adult women. I read this study with interest and, because I knew near nothing of thyroid disease, pored over the About.com Thyroid site.

Here's what I found: it's believed that the thyroid gland has some effect on sebaceous gland activity. So researchers tested levels of thyroid hormones and antibodies in 107 adult women with acne and 60 women without.

They found women with acne were more likely to have raised levels of antithyroglobulin antibodies than those women without acne (25.2% compared to 8.3%)

But other thyroid hormones didn't differ much between the two groups.  Also, ultrasound of the thyroid didn't show differences between those with acne and those without.

Of course, having acne as an adult doesn't automatically mean you have a thyroid problem. There are many reasons acne appears (or hangs on) after the teen years, including hormones and heredity.

Still, if you are an adult with acne, it may pay to have your thyroid checked especially if you have symptoms of thyroid disease. Knowing the risk factors for thyroid disease couldn't hurt either.

Source: Vergou, T., Mantzou, E., Tseke, P., Moustou, A., Katsambas, A., Alevizaki, M. and Antoniou, C. "Association of thyroid autoimmunity with acne in adult women." Journal of the European Academy of Dermatology and Venereology, 25: no. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-3083.2011.04084.x

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