The signs of hyperthyroidism visible on the face

1 thyroid. It can cause facial symptoms, including swelling, redness, thinning of the skin, and bulging eyes. Thyroid hormones control essential bodily functions such as breathing, digestion, body temperature and heart rate. High thyroid hormone levels can affect a person’s health and require medical attention. There are several causes of hyperthyroidism, including autoimmune disorders, the presence of thyroid nodules, or use of certain medications.

This article describes the most common facial symptoms of hyperthyroidism, how to treat them, treatment options, and more.

Facial symptoms of hyperthyroidism

Thyroid hormones are responsible for supporting the typical functions of the outermost layer of skin, also called the epidermis. Therefore, the skin is often the first place a person notices signs of thyroid hormone imbalance. One of the most common symptoms is warm, clammy skin. According to an older 2012 study of people with thyroid disease, over 85% of people with hyperthyroidism had this symptom.

The following facial signs and symptoms may also occur:

facial flushing
swelling of the face and neck
googly eyes
skin thinning
Rashes or hives
Hidradenitis suppurativa: small painful bumps
Redness, dry eyes, or blurred vision
hyperpigmentation of the skin

other symptoms

In addition to the above symptoms, people with hyperthyroidism may experience other, less noticeable symptoms. Here are a few:

unintentional weight loss
increased appetite
heavy sweating
nervousness or irritability
muscle weakness
sleep disturbance
intolerance to heat
hair loss
fast and irregular heartbeat
frequent bowel movements or diarrhea
Increased thirst
irregular menstruation
Loss of interest in sex
These symptoms vary with age, physical condition, and the severity of the thyroid problem.

Possible complications

Left untreated, hyperthyroidism can lead to more serious health problems, such as:

blood clot
heart failure
vision loss
fertility problems
pregnancy complications


Treatment for hyperthyroidism depends on the underlying cause. A doctor will also consider the severity of the condition and the characteristics of the person when creating a treatment plan. In some cases, a person may not need treatment.

Available options include:

Antithyroid medications: These medications reduce the amount of hormones produced by the thyroid.
Beta blockers: These drugs control certain symptoms associated with hyperthyroidism, such as rapid heartbeat, tremors, and anxiety.
Treatment with radioactive iodine: Usually, a person takes radioactive iodine by mouth. The drug enters the thyroid cells through the bloodstream and destroys them. This leads to an underactive thyroid and the person must therefore undergo lifelong thyroid hormone replacement therapy.
Surgery: Thyroidectomy is the surgical removal of the thyroid gland.
Doctors usually recommend surgery when antithyroid drugs or radioactive iodine therapy are not a viable option for a person.


Hyperthyroidism is treatable and its treatment requires careful medical evaluation. Early treatment can help prevent life-threatening complications like heart disease.
Treatment aims to achieve normal thyroid hormone levels, improve symptoms, and avoid overtreatment. As with any disease, results will vary depending on the cause, individual characteristics, and adherence to treatment. One study showed that 45.3 to 96.3 percent of people with Graves’ disease, the most common cause of hyperthyroidism, are in remission after first-line treatment.

However, treatment can have the opposite effect. In some cases, this can lead to hypothyroidism, another condition that occurs when thyroid hormone levels are lower than usual. In this case, drug treatment is necessary.

When to contact a doctor

If a person has signs of thyroid disease, they should see a doctor. Many symptoms of an overactive thyroid are also signs of other health problems, so identifying them can be difficult. It is therefore important to seek a professional diagnosis. Only a qualified doctor can recognize and diagnose hyperthyroidism. People with hyperthyroidism should see a doctor regularly to monitor their condition. They should also tell a doctor if they notice any changes in their weight, mood, or mental state.


In hyperthyroidism, the skin is one of the most affected organs, with manifestations on the person’s face including swelling, rashes, and redness. The eyes can also appear prominent. Appropriate treatment can help relieve symptoms and restore normal thyroid hormone levels.

* Presse Santé strives to convey health knowledge in a language accessible to all. In NO EVENT can the information provided replace the opinion of a physician.

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