Conditions

Bathing Too Often Can Damage Sensitive Skin

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Inspired by a recent article in my fave medical journal, The New York Times, I 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.

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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