10 Things About Hormonal Disorders and Skin Health

Written by Courtney Freeman, L.E.I.

Skin health is tied to many distinct and precise factors throughout the human body. Professionals must understand the many avenues that consultations should be based on in order to assist their clients in today's modern and scientific world. Like never before, clients yearn for their service providers to have a thorough education and deep understanding of underlying causes. So much of a proper client consultation is rooted in complex, yet simple, education that a client can hear and comprehend. A thorough understanding of the endocrine system and hormonal balance is essential in today's thriving aesthetics market.

 1.  The endocrine system is a series of ductless glands that secrete hormones that communicate with many parts of the body. It is exceptionally interesting that these glands have such a vast affect not only on the skin's health, but also a person's energy levels and even the possibility of "male pattern characteristics" in females. The endocrine system is an information signal system, much like the nervous system, however, its effects are slow to initiate and prolonged in their response. Additionally, when one endocrine gland is experiencing any unbalancing, there is a large possibility that another may follow suit. The connection of discussions between the endocrine glands is absolute and aestheticians can assist their clients in understanding that hormonal health is a direct reflection of long-term anti-aging in women.

2.  The thyroid gland is located in the neck and consists of two lobes. The primary influence of the thyroid is the regulation of the body's metabolic rate, or energy levels, along with the body's capacity to synthesize protein. The thyroid must function at its healthiest state because it produces calcitonin, a hormone that plays a large role in calcium homeostasis. Hyperthyroidism occurs when the thyroid produces excess amounts of its hormones. Graves' disease is a cause of hyperthyroidism, with symptoms including eye bulging, fast heartbeat, weight loss, poor tolerance of heat, irritability and moodiness, myxedema (darkened skin on that become thick and red/brown with a bumpy texture), and sleeping problems. Hypothyroidism is most often caused by Hashimoto's thyroiditis, another autoimmune disease in which the thyroid lacks sufficient amounts of its hormones and can cause nodules and/or cancer to develop.pic-3

3.  The pituitary gland, which is located at the base of the brain, secretes trophic hormones – which causes other glands to make hormones. The pituitary gland is the command center of the endocrine system. Several important trophic hormones are secreted from the pituitary gland and make their way to the ovaries. The pituitary gland is important for skin care knowledge because it secretes melanocyte-stimulating hormone from its intermediate lobe; skin care professionals should understand the connection with the possible loss or disconnection, rather, of any trophic hormones that actually need to occur in females. If any trophic hormones released by the pituitary gland are not functioning properly, or not at all, due to genetic predispositions or health issues, the skin can be a target of hyperpigmentation.

pic-44.  The pancreas is the glandular organ of the endocrine system that regulates insulin and assists with digestion of nutrients into the body. It must function correctly in order for the right enzymes to effectively break down carbohydrates, proteins, and lipids, which are crucial for ridding the body of internal inflammation – a source of hormonal imbalance. The most common understanding of the pancreas has to do with its diseases: Type 1 and 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes typically occurs as a childhood-onset disease, in which the pancreas does not produce insulin as a birth defect. Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle alteration in which the individual throws their own insulin secretions into decline through poor eating habits. Diabetes is a glucose metabolism disease characterized by chronic hyperglycemia, meaning that there is an excessive amount of glucose circulating through the blood plasma. Pancreatic issues can be a factor in throwing off other endocrine glands, which can ultimately spiral into several different hormonal imbalances throughout the body.

5.  The adrenal glands look like little hats that sit on top of the kidneys and are made up of a medulla and cortex. The adrenal cortex producespic-5 three types of steroid hormones: mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, and androgens. Mineralocorticoids help to regulate blood pressure and electrolyte balance. Cortisol, which serves as the stress hormone, is a type of glucocorticoid. Understanding and regulating excessive stress is important for the regulation of the adrenal glands. The third steroid hormone, androgens, are the female's only natural source of the male hormone, testosterone. High levels of testosterone in women can cause male pattern characteristics, such as excessive hair growth on the chin and upper lip, hyperpigmentation, and cystic jawline acne. The regulation of adrenal gland levels is imperative for proper skin health and can be a source of understanding for those treating acne or hormonal hyperpigmentation.

pic-66.  Clients with Cushing's syndrome deal with many visual characteristics, such as abnormal obesity, but with thin arms and legs; reddish stretch marks; a round, red face; weak muscles and bones; acne; and fragile skin that heals poorly. Individuals dealing with Cushing's syndrome will deal with high blood pressure, chronic fatigue, moodiness, and headaches. Cushing's syndrome is caused by excessive cortisol-like medications, such as prednisone, or a tumor that produces excessive cortisol by the adrenal glands. A firm understanding of this disorder by professionals is crucial in setting timelines for healing – from protocols for chemical peels or laser services. The understanding of how acne can be a factor in this disease will explain the timeline of expectations for professionals treating it.

7.  Clients with Addison's disease have adrenal glands that do not produce enough steroid hormones. Symptoms and pic-7characteristics of this disease include darkening of the skin, especially in sites of friction; vermillion border of the lips, genital skin, and other areas; muscle weakness; lightheadedness; sweating; changes in mood; and salt cravings due to low sodium. It is important for professionals to take Addison's disease into account when treating
skin darkening.

pic-88.  Natural hormone replacement therapy is an alternative to medicinal supplementation, which can have adverse reactions or negative side effects. Hormone replacement therapy is any form of therapy that uses naturally occurring hormones, such as progesterone and estrogen, to supplement areas in which the individual is low. In the ovaries, a very specific level of estrogen and progesterone is needed for women in order to prevent common symptoms associated with menopause. The treatment is also thought to prolong life and reduce incidence of dementia.


Courtney-FreemanCourtney Freeman is the owner and lead instructor at Southeastern Esthetics Institute in Columbia, South Carolina., the leading institute in the southeast for the advanced aesthetics licensure course. Freeman is also the owner of Pura Medical Spa in downtown Columbia and has dedicated her life and career to exceptional aesthetic education through advanced skin science knowledge with a medical focus.

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