Psoriasis, rosacea and hypothyroidism–did you know there’s a connection?

STTM red noses(This page was updated in 2015. Enjoy!)

A thyroid patient and mother of two just informed me that her daughter’s psoriasis on her body completely went away thanks to being on desiccated thyroid, and all that’s left is some on her head. And, her son’s psoriasis completely went away thanks to desiccated thyroid.

Connection? Pretty obvious, isn’t it. Here are three skin conditions that can be related to your thyroid issue:


Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease that appears on the skin chronically due to an immune system going awry. It results in red scaly patches with a white dead-cell buildup. You can often see it hand-in-hand with Hashimotos.


Rosacea is another skin problem, though not autoimmune, that causes a redness of the skin, including the cheeks and nose, or the forehead and chin.

I personally had rosacea on my nose for years—my oh-so-romantic “clown nose”. But just like the mother’s son and daughter with psoriasis, my rosacea eventually went away, as well, after I had started on desiccated thyroid and raised it high enough to remove my hypo symptoms—the latter which did not totally happen on Synthroid and got worse the longer I stay on.

Pretibial Myxoedema

Another condition called Pretibial Myxoedema, also called thyroid dermopath, can present itself with either hyperthyroidism like Graves or hypo. It often affects the feet with swelling, lumpiness or lesions, or you can have it on other places on your skin. It’s caused by excess hyaluronic acid. It can also be associated with autoimmune thyroid disease.

Chronic skin disease is just another reason to be adequately treated with desiccated thyroid, or at the very least, add T3 to your T4—a much better option than being only on the latter.

Namaste Janie

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41 Responses to “Psoriasis, rosacea and hypothyroidism–did you know there’s a connection?”

  1. JennaGillz

    I have Lupus, Hasimotos, and Rosacea … fought with break-outs for years …. I’m NOT a doctor, but know from experience that thyroid IS related to auto-immune diseases & skin …. Found instant relief in 2 days from a simple thing …. EAT only real foods, nothing processed ….. and the biggie: NO SOY!!!!! … Soy is in everything as a filler! …. Read labels carefully! ….. Soy is NOT your friend …. Stop that and eat clean, you will be amazed, I was …. It’s a life-long trek now …. I can NEVER go back to sugar, soy, dyes, preservatives, fried anything ,,,, else the Rosacea comes back with a vengeance, as does the Lupus flares ….. Learn quickly, YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT…. I’m so happy to be in remission from it all, for 9 years now, by simply using “Food as medicine”.

  2. Annie Mack

    I am hypothyroid, had a partial thyroidectomy in the 1970’s (all benign), had no other problems and was very thin until my mid 50’s. Started on synthroid and have taken it about 20 years, seems the dosage always changes, never right,, the TSH can be 0.01 and 30 days later it is 7.5. I always had fair sensitive skin. I take a low dose of estrogen too. Last few months the hot flushes are off the chart, face is fire red, neck, chest sometimes even underarms, eyes burn, top lip swells up, nasty. I stay out of the sun and do not drink alcohol. I use the acalicilyc acid (Finacea generic), wash very gently with Cetaphyl and use either Johnson Baby lotion or Cetaphyl moisture. I have asked Dr many times to please try a different thyroid med but she refuses to do that saying they are not related? Sometimes I get nasty breakouts in strange places (right now have a bunch if big red hot itchy welts on my elbow) and breakouts like that last months and even leave scars. I have also lost a lot of hair, eyebrows and eyelashes long gone, I am embarrassed to go out without a hat on. And I gained over 20 pounds but have been very very very diligent for small portions and no junk food. When the pandemic is over I will look for another Dr (there is no endocrinology within 200 miles) but what in the meantime? I admit I am now trying to alter some of the med dosages very very slightly over time to see what happens. Any ideas? I am glad to know that there is a connection between the 2 as most Drs won’t admit it. Thanks.

  3. joao37

    Hi Mrs Janie.
    i have rosacea type II , in my face . Did you think this could be to my hypotiroidism symtoms.

    I my last bood test the results that i have was

    Ac Anti – perixidade 77 ul /ml – max range <60

    T3 – 2,96 pg / ml ( 1.80-4.20)

    T4 – 1,15 ng/dl (0,80 – 1,90)

    TSH – 1,69 mU/L (0,40 – 4.00)

    I dont now is there is a link beetween my rosacea and my anti peroxidadse ??????

    • Janie Bowthorpe

      Hi. I can never know about anyone else, but I do know that for me, changing to Natural Desiccated Thyroid (which gives you all five thyroid hormones and is a much better treatment) did, in fact, remove that rosacea. 🙂 i.e. being on NDT got me out of my hypothyroid state, which Hashi’s can put you in, too. Always compare your lab results to this page: And those need to be FREE T3 and FREE T4, not just the total T3 and T4.

  4. Matt

    A few years after i started on synthroid i noticed i started having psoriasis outbreaks . Before i knew there was a link between the two i went to a dermatologist who prescribed me with foams to help the flakes to go away but my psoriasis always comes back if i stop using the foams. If i switched to natural thyroid hormone is there a chance my psoriasis could go away for good? i am tired of using expensive foams.

  5. Irene Schreiber

    I suggested to my Doctor that there was a link between Hypothyroid and Psoriasis,she did some searching and agreed, i had both for 40 years. I use vinegar to sooth the Psoriasis, and Gold Bond cream helps a lot. Meds which increase metabolism increase skin cell renewal speed which causes Psoriasis, that’s my take on it. Joint pain and skin is really being helped since I started taking a thyroid support supplement called HYPITROL. I also take vitamin D and K2, and my skin is better.

  6. Sharon

    I am in my early 60’s and have Hashimotos for a few years and find your story interesting as I have had Psoriasis for 50 years and have done so much research on both but never knew they were connected. Find your story very interesting.

  7. Sheryl

    I had a total thyroidectomy in 1993, I have since fought with 8-9 endos. When I felt good, they changed everything, when I felt bad, everything is perfect! UGH! They have tested me for Hashi and Graves. I have always been positive for Hashi. My ‘new” endo had me tested for Graves again and this time it is positive. This Dr. has sent me for biopsy of my leg, and it comes back Pretibial Myxodema. Dr. tells me that “you only get that with Graves”. I have had the lesions for about 10 years and for the most part they are ugly and don’t hurt at all, until now. Now they slough off and drain for days before scabbing over. The last one has drained now for 10 days.

    Now my Dr. has finally put me on NDT and I did feel better right away, but now not so much. I was on Syncrap for 23 years. She thinks that this saliva testing is not at all reliable and will only do one blood test and I has to be morning, and the only way to treat it is Predisone and she doesn’t want to give me that, cause I will only gain more weight! I have gained 100 lbs in the last 23 years and each time I gain it is because of some great stress. I have tried so many Dr.s and have had very disappointing results. This one on my last visit told me that I would feel so much better when we get back to Syncrap. I know there has to be a better Dr. out their but they are hidden from me at the moment.

  8. Jennifer

    I’ve had psoriasis for a few years now and I went to see my doctor last year about my thyroid. My levels are ‘normal’ but after a scan the specialist put in my report ‘early signs of Hashimotos’. Now that was 8 months ago and my doctor still hasn’t said anymore. I’m hoping to get some answers out of a new doctor.

  9. Jane

    Hi. I’ve researching thyroid ism. I’ve had psriaosis for about five years now, over the last 6 months I started noticing how tired I am, wanting to be by myself all the time and my skin has deteriorated drastically. I’m fed up my hair is starting to fall out and my eye hurt with a constant let thick head. I feel like I have many symptoms, but I don’t want to bore you apart from saying I don’t have a minute eat healthy but can’t lose any weight. Could someone tell me if these are the symptoms of hypothyroidism? Please I feel like I’m going mad here!

  10. Kathy Borowski

    I had a total thyroidectomy in 1977 @ age 28. Had 2 kinds of thyroid cancer. Was on Synthroid until about 2004 when I switched to Armour because some of my issues with Synthroid were getting unbearable. I added a T3 supplement about 4 years ago. I developed Psoriasis in 2010, but it was a relatively minor case which I treated myself with creams. Took a long time to go away. I developed another case of it about a year ago – again, very minor. I have tested positive for Hashimoto’s, but I don’t see how that is possible given I don’t have a thyroid. I, too, am wondering if I need the T3 supplement and should, instead, up my Armour. I am taking 1 grain. Any thoughts, and thanks for any replies.

  11. Jennie Walters-West

    FINALLY someone has told me there is a connection with Hashis and psirosis!!!! Im so mad right now
    as I have been to 6 dermas and the meds do nothing for it but make is flake get red apply the cream again and the cycle continues. I have it on my face around my mouth pretty bad!! I have tried every home remedy too as well as supps. Well atleast I NOW know its related to my has his

  12. Jennifer Castro

    Has anybody else experienced an itchy, blotchy red rash occasionally? I DJ a few times a week and have been finding that by the end of my 4-hour set, it’s almost like a circulatory issue happening. Sometimes my socks or shoes (high tops) seem to cut off the circulation even though they are tied very loosely or even untied. I try to move around and encourage blood flow, and also take Benedryl before bed, but neither that nor cortisone cream seem to have any beneficial effect on the itchy rash. It always sticks around for a few days afterward, and flares up with physical activity. I’m on 81.25 Mg WP thyroid, in my fourth month of treatment for hypo. This problem has flared up long ago when I used to run, but was never truly a consistent problem until I began my treatment, so I’m wondering if it’s a side effect. I plan on asking my doctor soon, but figured since we’re discussing skin conditions and thyroid here, it might be interesting to see if this seems common. Thanks!

    • Toriadee

      Try getting a Ferritin test. Your itchy legs could be a symptom of haemochromatosis I.e. iron overloading. Treatment is giving blood so much easier to treat than thyroid but very serious if left undiagnosed long term. Other symptoms are same as hypo, fatigue etc.

  13. Sam

    My son has been suffering with Ichthyosis (dry, scaly skin) since his birth. He was born 20 months after my RAI treatment which I was given shortly after my Thyroid Cancer surgery. I suspected that his skin condition could be caused by low thyroid but his TSH test results kept coming back normal at 3.0. Our GP said to us that our son inherited this skin disease but we couldn’t think of anyone in our family that had any skin problems.
    We later visited a nutritionist who listened to us and recommended to try a low daily dose of Nutri-thyroid.
    One and half months later our son’s skin looks 90% better, it’s still slightly dry in places but it’s not scaly at all which feels like a real miracle.

  14. Terah

    I have only used NDT and wouldn’t use anything else. My hubby as well. I also only go by the guide lines here on STTM because of the success I have had the past four plus years. I have recently developed something much like Rosacea , and it seems related to stress.
    So back to adrenals.
    Hubby has P and is way beyond basic care. He wants to go off biologics. ( injections) and try LDN.

  15. Jo

    I’ve got terrible red scaly marks on my legs since my doctor lowered my Synthroid dosage but that’s the least of my problems I believe are related to insufficient medication. I never heard of keratosis pilaris but will ask if that might be what this is.
    I can’t even imagine wearing shorts this summer (not that I have any desire to leave the house anyway).

  16. Amy

    I have asked my GP repeatedly about my thyroid. I have suffered with psoriasis since I was 12 (am almost 40) and do also have rosacea. The last time my thyroid was check it was because we were trying to conceive, it was 3.65 at that time which my doc deemed “normal”. I have a lot of symptoms of hyperthyroidism but cant seem to get any support to that. Can anyone suggest some other tests or should I continue to look for a new doctor (hard to find in Alberta).

    Thanks! Amy

  17. Lisa

    Myself and my two kids all have keratosis pilaris. This is one of the symptoms I have used to determine that we were hypothyroid – as most, if not all skin problems are due to low thyroid. We are all on dessicated thyroid and it has helped immensely. The k.p. is still not gone all the way in any of us, but we are still working on getting the ideal amount of thyroid and also adrenal replacement. My goal is to erase this skin condition with properly absorbed thyroid. I’m sure you can be helped by thyroid and adrenals, too!

    • Lisa

      After 26 years of being hypothyroid and taking synthroid which did not alleviate any of my symptoms, I just switched to Armour and in 3 months my keratosis pilaris, psoriasis, and adult acne disappeared, along with fatigue, weight gain, and mood swings. I am finally feeling great! Hindsight being 20/20, I would say I was given too little synthroid and now my holistic dr has me on the equivalent of double the synthroid dosage (2 grains). He has me with a TSH below .4 and this is the first dr out if a dozen to do this. He also has me on a sustained release T3 compound, since my T3 was still low. I am 45 yrs old and I’ve been suffering since I was 19 with not being treated with proper dose/medication. Armour is my hero!

      • Janie

        Congrats! And FYI: you really didn’t need to add sustained released T3. You just needed to raise the Armour. 🙂 And we’ve found out repeatedly there is really no “equivalent dose” of NDT to T4. It’s comparing apples to oranges and too individual, as well. We just raise NDT as needed until we feel great again. 🙂

      • Darla

        Hi Lisa, I feel like we have similar stories. I have been on synthroid since I was 17 and am now 42. I have just found this fb page in the last couple of months. I haven’t felt good for yrs, but every Dr that ive gone to says I am fine..normal range. Finally I go to NP and just a few minutes with her explaining my symptoms and she asks if I have ever been tested for hashimotos. No I hadn’t so she tested me and of course I am positive. So finally an answer to what has been causing me problems for 10yrs or longer. Truth is Armour sounds like the real deal, but it scares me to try something new. The NP switched my synthroid dose and I had 3 months of straight insomnia. I never want to do that again. So as I read everyones comments about how great ndt is it scares me a lot.

        • Janie Bowthorpe

          Darla, let me help you look at it like this: would you be scared of having a healthy thyroid?? I bet it would be resounding no. NDT like Armour gives us exactly what a healthy thyroid would be giving us. i.e. the thyroid hormones T4. T3, T2, T1 and calcitonin. Nothing to be scared of there. 🙂 What you NEED to be scared of is staying on Synthroid. Patients have paid many many many prices from being on T4-only. So what you do is get your iron tested and cortisol tested (which in all too many, Synthroid will mess up in too many), compare them to what we have learned as to where they should be, treat them if not optimal, and then look at giving yourself back what a healthy thyroid gives, which is NOT T4-only. You can teach this to your doctor, too.

  18. David

    Many years ago I was diagnosed w/ acner rosacea. The doctor gave me metrogel. Sure it worked for the moment, but was not lasting. It may have even caused a rebound. I believe it even further created a candida imbalance I was already fighting.

    Long story short I believe there is a connection between acne rosacea and candida. In fact I believe that AR may be an active manifestation of candida.

    Eventually I learned about caprylic acid for candida, and each time I have a recurrence, the caprylic acid calms the candida and acne.

    I’m still looking for the right balance, and that may be in my diet as I am largely avoiding gluten.

    Another fight against candida and AR, and many other things may be in enzymes–digestive as well as systemic. Enzymes are something my allergist suggested I look intoabout 15 years ago, although I finally just started doing the research.

    I don’t have hypothyroidism (as far as I know anyway), but my wife has hasimoto’s disease, and got the same run-around from the doctors (and the doctor’s consultation with the endocrinologist) as many others in this forum.

    I could give an account of my wife’s dealings, but maybe another day. Right now, although far from a cure, she has seen positive results from following the well thought out research reported through STTM, the 1st edition (makes me want to get the 2nd edition soon), and plans to follow through.

    On her own she has also started on enzymes, both digestive and systemic.

    Enzymes may be very helpful to my condiion as well, and I have also started taking them.

  19. Kayla

    Has anyone had any success in treating Keratosis Pilaris (a very common skin condition characterized by bumps and redness most notably along the limbs) with dessicated thyroid? I am also wondering if cortisol supplementation (for adrenal fatigue) would alleviate the problem.. If anyone has any information to share with me on this, please contact me! I have severe KP down my arms and legs, as well as rosacea.

  20. lynn

    P. Krishnan

    It is available in India yes but you need a doctors prescription to order it

    • katesisco

      I have been slowly creeping toward diabetes when I discovered porcine thyroid. Took it several years ago and this winter overdid the Advil and Diphenhydramine for a sudden case of itching so had to start dessicated thyroid again. Been under stress. Take other herbals like gymnema for diabetes prevention and have added hpa axis treatment of gotu kola.
      As a young mother suffered massive sinus infections which established long term candida fungus. Also developed migraines. Over 20 years extreme pain but now gone. I believe in homeopathic treatment and herbals.

  21. P. Krishnan

    Hello all,

    Could someone tell me if dessicated thyroid is available in India? What is the brand name in India? If not available, can I order this online? (from Janie: so far, we are not aware of an East Indian brand. I’d ask your doctor. Otherwise, you can google “thyroid-S” from Thailand and may be able to get that. Hopefully you’ll find a knowledgeable doctor there to work with.)

  22. Kim

    Thanks very much for this post (and your site). I’ve been complaining for 7 years to my internist about many of the symptoms on your site but mostly about extreme fatigue. The problem is that I’ve been obese since I was about 11 and my MD’s answer is always “lose weight.” I lost 70 pounds and was MORE tired than when I was heavier. She said that my thyroid tests were within normal range and that I should just “live with” being tired.

    Now for the past three years, I’ve had problems with rosacea, even though its supposed to be uncommon in African-Americans (I’m not fair skinned) and in the past year have had inflammation on my lower back and across my chest.

    Hoping one of the doctors on your site will take my health insurance. Today, I’ve been shaky and fatigued all day. I definitely need to find a new MD who will take this seriously before I lose my job (or my mind).

  23. Cathy

    I have just been diagnose as hypothyroid and began my course of Amour yesterday. I’ve felt horrible for years — weight gain, low base temp, depression, constipation, dry skin, tired ALL the time, yet my regular MD told me I was fine. I finally have found a MD that wants to help. What I didn’t add to my list was Rosacea, which has gotten profoundly worse (and painful) over the past year and a half. I had no idea that there might be a connection between my Rosacea and hypothroidism! Your site has been so helpful! Thank you!

  24. Lisa

    I have read in “Foundations for Healing” writen by Dr. Richard Becker,.D.O. ( That taking steriods and antibiotics I.E for treatment of rosacea, and psoriasis causes dysbiosis (imbalance of bowel flora) which in turn causes your symptoms to persist. So you end up with a suppression from the meds but also a persistance of the symptoms. A probiotic my help. But, Do some research for yourselves. I am going to try Armour for my psoriasis. I wont take antibiotics or use steriods. I hope this is somewhat helpful in pointing you in a different direction for an answer.

  25. mette

    Thank you (again) for your wonderful work. I appreciate it so much, it’s really admirable what you do 🙂

    I’ve taken t4 since 95 and Armour a couple of years, then got much better after I found this site a few months back and started taking it sublingually.

    I have rosacea too, had it for 7 or so years, and would not be sad to see it go! (Not taking the antibiotics the skin doctors recommend!)
    I’ve had vitiligo for much longer though, and I think this is rather usual too?

    For me at least, it seems there’s been a progression of symptoms over the years, I’m sure most of us have similar stories.
    Hopefully they disappear as suddenly one by one too 🙂

  26. Jeannie

    I am an Esthetician. I have to tell my clients with Rosacae that there is no known cause and no real cure. I happen to have Rosacae and have had no flares in 3 years. I wondered why because Rosacae gets worse usually, not better. My natural health advisor put me on Eco Thyro 3 years ago! Now I can make the connection! Thank you for your information.

  27. very sick me

    That’s interesting, I wouldn’t have thought that rosacea and psoriasis had much in common. I wonder if there are other redness-causing skin conditions that could be grouped together for alternative treatments? I’m sure there’s no shortage of diseases with similar manifest symptoms, at least visually….

  28. ibeji

    Dear Janie,

    you frequently name desiccated thyroid from animal origin (or “Armour” for short as a generic name for all different brands thereof) as “the” solution to all your problems.

    This may cause other people to have (too) high expectations which might get frustrated later on, possibly causing them to discredit Armour as snake oil afterwards.

    In order to prevent this, this word of caution.

    I also have to report that my psoriasis became apparent four years before my thyroid problems became clinically apparent in 1996 (but in hindsight I now recognize the symptoms of mild hypothyroidism which I had long before that).

    Despite having been on Armour for about two years now, my psoriasis only became somewhat better when I reached a daily dosis of almost 11 mg of Prednisolone (where 7.5 mg is usually regarded as the Cushing threshold for males).

    Nevertheless it is slowly progressing, in that the number of spots of the skin which are affected is increasing.

    So Armour may not be the miracle drug to cure all ailments as it may sometimes seem, on your web site.

    Please don’t get me wrong, I am not criticizing you or your website, which is excellent and abundant with useful information, I just would like to prevent the frustration of disappointed high hopes of other people reading here.

    Cheers and keep up the great work!

    (from Janie: Hi ibeji. It’s more accurate to state that I claim desiccated thyroid to be a great solution for most all “thyroid” related problems as compared to T4, based on the testimony of patients worldwide, which is ultimately what STTM is about–patient experience. And apparently for some, even some skin problems are connected. And like your experience, treating one’s adrenal issues can be key for many to experience the positive effects that dess. thyroid can give.

    So the question that your experience raises with continuing psoriasis is whether it’s connected to your hypothyroid state or not, whether you have other issues that need correction (which I see so often), or whether autoimmune issues can be tougher to treat. Perhaps others can chime in.

    But you are right. Nothing is all-encompassing. Because on the other hand, dess. thyroid did not cure my mitral valve prolapse, nor did it stop me from having a recurrence of a benign salivary tumor. It also hasn’t stopped me from gaining a few pounds because of my love of chocolate. (groan)

    But it has definitely improved my health ten-fold in order to deal with those non-thyroid issues. And it does seem to halt a myriad of thyroid-related issues, especially if it’s raised just high enough to do so without being too high, if adrenals are strong or treated adequately if not, if electrolytes are optimal, if B12 is optimal, if ferritin is optimal, etc. We are still learning. )

  29. Rob

    Some good information, and I honestly knew little about what Psoriasis was, prior to reading this. Thanks for sharing.


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