Throughout my years in practice treating children with Autism, I have seen many of them with something called Hyperkeratosis Pilaris. And Hyperkeratosis Pilaris is that bumpy skin often seen on the backs of the arm, it can also bee seen on the upper thighs and the cheeks. It has been though to be attributed to heredity as caused by an accumulation of skin cells in those locations. The use of a buff puff pad to rub in the areas with the bumps seems to be effective at treating it. But, there is another theory that Hyperkeratosis Pilaris is really caused from a low thyroid function and that the body cannot properly convert beta carotene into vitamin A.
And we believe hypothyroidism to be another potential contributing factor to Hyperkeratosis Pilaris. If you want to look at these issues using testing, and are OK with a blood test, there are a couple of things you can do. The first is to run a TSH test, which stands for thyroid stimulating hormone and the second is to run a free T3 and a free T4. And what we prefer to see is that the T3 and T4 levels, particularly the T3 levels, be in the upper two thirds of what is considered to be the normal reference range for appropriate thyroid functioning. You can look at overall hypothalamus functioning as well as the pituitary connect but those thyroid tests are much more invasive than can be done in just a lab setting and more costly as well. Therefore, a good way to go is to do the TSH, the free T3 and the free T4.
It is also wise to correlate it with other symptoms of low thyroid function. So if your child has Hyperkeratosis Pilaris plus they have a lower core body temperature, plus they tend to always have cold hands and cold feet plus they suffer from constipation, thyroid function may be an issue. You may want to decide if supplementing with a thyroid medication is an option. I like to use Armorthyroid because it is a more natural thyroid medication and it is better than using a more synthetic form. But medication can be effective in bolstering thyroid function in children with thyroid issues. Adding in a thyroid medication can help brain function as well as overall metabolism. So, Hyperkeratosis Pilaris is one possible indicator of low thyroid functioning and is something to check into more with appropriate blood testing.
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