Hormones are the body’s chemical communicators, relaying information needed for important processes, such as growth, metabolism, and fertility. But when glands make too much or too little of a hormone, the messages get lost in translation. Hormonal imbalances account for a number of problems affecting skin and hair.
An underactive thyroid gland (hypothyroidism) causes the body functions to slow down, which can cause hair loss and dry skin, while an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) can cause oily skin.
In women, an excess of the male hormone androgen can result in polycystic ovarian syndrome, whose symptoms include unwanted body hair, acne, and patches of dark skin on the neck, armpits or in between breasts. Too much testosterone, produced by the adrenal gland, can also cause extra body hair in women. Only blood work can determine whether such symptoms are caused by a hormonal imbalance that should be treated with medication.
These problems are very common in the general population. There’s no way to know except if you test for it, and it’s always better to be safe.