What is myxedema?

Updated: Oct 10, 2018
  • Author: Mohsen S Eledrisi, MD, FACP, FACE; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
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Answer

Myxedema is a term generally used to denote severe hypothyroidism. Myxedema is also used to describe the dermatologic changes that occur in hypothyroidism and occasionally hyperthyroidism. In this setting, myxedema refers to deposition of mucopolysaccharides in the dermis, which results in swelling of the affected area. When skin changes occur in hyperthyroidism, mostly Graves disease, it’s called pretibial myxedema.


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