The link between adrenals and dry skin
Dry skin can manifest from multiple factors that are attributed to a lack of water being maintained on the first layer of the skin.
Our adrenal glands play an integral part in our skin health.
The adrenal glands are part of the vast endocrine system and play a major role in the body by releasing certain hormones directly into the bloodstream that regulate many functions of the body including metabolism, immune system, and blood pressure, and help us cope with stress.
The adrenals influence tissues, glands, and the whole body.
The HPA axis is a pathway that interconnects three glands - the hypothalamus, pituitary, and adrenals. This pathway has a peripheral effect on the skin barrier.
The adrenal gland is composed of the adrenal cortex and adrenal medulla. The cortex produces steroid hormones including glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, and adrenal androgens, and the medulla produces catecholamines, epinephrine, and norepinephrine.
Two hormones in particular that can contribute to dry skin are aldosterone and cortisol. Aldosterone is responsible for regulating blood pressure, electrolyte balance, and maintaining water in the body. Cortisol, often referred to as the stress hormone, affects the skin’s ability to retain water when excess amounts are released.
Of course, no bodily system works alone.
With the adrenals being part of the endocrine system, dry skin can link with another gland in this system: the thyroid. If both glands show signs of weakness, a lack of moisture in the skin can be a result. Growth hormone deficiency, hypothyroidism, and adrenal insufficiency result in reduced sebum production and dry skin. There is also a correlation between eczema and the thyroid/adrenal connection.
Something to note, impairment of the skin's own (HPA) hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-like axis can contribute to several skin diseases.
- Reducing stress. (Stress is a huge component)
- Incorporating good sleep hygiene.
- Eating a nutrient dense diet.
- Not skipping meals or restrictive calorie diets.
- Nervous system support.
- Proper blood sugar level control.
- Adequate levels of minerals to support cellular health.
- Supplementing with B-vitamins or ensure B-Vitamins are being consumed from food sources.
- Adrenal supporting adaptogens.
- Removing and reducing environmental toxins.
- Ensuring macronutrients of essential fatty acids are included in one’s diet. Hormones need fat, which are critical for the endocrine system hormones.
- Reduce high intensity workouts temporarily, focus on more light restorative movements such as walking, and stretching.
- Reduce caffeine intake temporarily to support cortisol and blood sugar.
- Correct any gut imbalances that interfere with the endocrine system.
- Supporting other body system (digestive, lymphatic system, nervous system)
- Supporting and clearing stressors whether from pathogens or emotions.
- Surrounding yourself with supportive community.
- Slowing down and resting allowing yourself to be present and enjoy life.
- Supplementing with Phosphatidylserine to support HPA axis.