6 Surprising Signs of Disease Your Skin Can Reveal

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Vitiligo: Ups risk of thyroid problems

This skin condition leads to loss of pigment in the skin, explains Courtney Schadt, MD, assistant professor in dermatology at the University of Louisville. "It's caused by the immune system attacking the cells in the skin that make the pigment called melanin," she explains. It, too, may share similar pathways as other autoimmune conditions (most commonly, thyroid disease). "I screen all patients for symptoms of these other conditions, and do blood work if needed," says Dr. Schadt. If necessary, encourage your derm to do the same. But first, read up on these 13 thyroid facts.

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Skin cancer: Raises risk for other cancers

If you've beaten a melanoma diagnosis, you never want to hear the "C" word again. But, as the American Cancer Society notes, melanoma survivors are at an increased risk for another skin cancer as well as other seemingly non-related cancers like breast cancer, prostate cancer, and kidney cancer. In fact, one study in the American Journal of Epidemiology uncovered a more than two-fold increased risk for breast cancer in women over age 60. To lower your risk of a secondary cancer, the ACS suggests taking these smart steps: be vigilant about limiting UV exposure, stay active, eat a healthy plant-based diet, and stick to one alcoholic drink per day (two for men). Don't miss the 28 things your skin reveals about your health.

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Dry, itchy skin: Associated with ADHD

When your skin won't stop itching, it can become a distracting nuisance to say the least. And constant scratching can also cut into your slumber, making sleep deprivation a problem. For those reasons, researchers believe that atopic dermatitis (the most common form of eczema) has roots in both child and adult ADD and ADHD. In a new 2016 study published in the British Journal of Dermatology, adult patients had a 61 percent elevated risk of these disorders, with the people at the most risk being those who also have headaches and insomnia. Your best bet: talk to your doctor if you've been diagnosed with atopic dermatitis/eczema and you're experiencing ADHD symptoms like problems focusing on a task, poor time management skills, and impulsiveness. Find out why ADHD is a real concern for Canadian women.

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