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Sunday November 18th 2018


For Your Thyroid Skin: Defy the Culture of Clean

Post Published: 11 November 2010
Category: For Your Thyroid Skin: Defy the Culture of Clean, Guest Bloggers
This post currently has 4 responses. Leave a comment

Inspired by a recent article in my fave medical journal, The New York Times, I’ve must ask: Why are we washing so damn much? Not needed. Really. Breaks down the lipid barrier of your skin, particularly when you use harsh soaps.

You know dry, rough, scaly, itchy. agey skin is a key feature of the lovely condition of hypothyroidism. Add to that a daily shower or bath and you add insult to injury. Throw in lower winter temperatures and decreased humidity, and you’re pretty much guaranteed to struggle.

Why does hypothyroidism dry out your skin? It slows the activity of your sweat and oil glands. In fact, it slows down the activity and removal of metabolic wastes in most cells.

As Katherine Ashenburg, the intrepid author of “The Dirt on Clean: An Unsanitized History” states: “We don’t need to wash the way we did when we were farmers. We have never needed to wash less, and we have never done it more.” She sites two reasons to knock off the daily shower: to retain your skin’s natural oils and water conservation.

Many of us with thyroid conditions also have an issue with our adrenal function. You have to fix the adrenal issues either first or simultaneous with the thyroid dysregulation to feel truly better, because the right amount of cortisol (not too much, not too little) is needed for optimal conversion of T4 to T3. If the adrenal issues are unaddressed or underaddressed, you may show symptoms of hyperthyroidism even on the correct dose of thyroid medication, such as palpitations, increased pulse and sweating.

Smell more like yourself. A washcloth with mild soup in your pits and crotch is all most of us need daily. Save your skin and the planet.

For those who wish to link to the NYT article, here is the link.

Written by, Dr. Sara Gottfried

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4 Responses to “For Your Thyroid Skin: Defy the Culture of Clean”

  1. Linny says:

    soup? Giggle giggle….
    but I agree. I like to use extra bath salts and baby oil. The bath is so healing in spirit to give up. Many of us need it to quiet ourselves, restless legs, and joint stiffness/pain.
    I don’t even have the ability to sweat most of the time. My palms are always dry.
    Use olive oil when cooking and having salads.
    Products make a huge difference. Do not use deodrant soaps. Really don’t need much soap at all. Just soak. Also raises body temp. mine is always a degree below normal. If I’m coming down with something must try to get body heat up.
    What do you think about these ideas Dr.? Linny

  2. HDinOregon says:

    Being too clean during childhood also makes us more susceptible to allergies later on. See »»» http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8373690.stm

    Stay cool and a little dirty


  3. Em says:

    YES! **happy dance**
    You mean I’m doing something right? *giggle* I didn’t know this, but I always felt a little OCD when I showered everyday. (Though, honestly it started when I realized that washing my hair everyday was not good for keeping it under control. Then I applied it to the rest of my body!)

  4. Wakela says:

    At least now I know I am not the only one. I never want to talk about it with my coworkers since they all shower at least 2 times daily. I always thought that was excessive. I hate after I shower. My skin seems to just “rub” off easier after I am freshly showered. And the itchiness is the worst.

    I don’t have to worry about showering just to shave my legs as I have not grown hair on my legs for years.

    And here I thought that not showering daily was just my “dirty” little secret.

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