DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Hypothyroidism. Coarse, dry skin on the back of the hand of a patient suffering from hypothyroid- ism. Hypothyroidism is caused by under-production of thyroid hormones by the thyroid gland. Symptoms include mental and physical slowing, sensitivity to cold, weight gain, and coarsening of the skin (also called myxoedema). The disease has a variety of causes, including autoimmune disorder (where the body's defence system attacks its own tissue) and removal of part of the thyroid gland during surgery. The condition is treated with the hormone thyroxine, which is normally produced by healthy thyroid glands.
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