When doctors chat with patients eye to eye, it’s not just about creating rapport. Certain facial traits may reveal vital clues to underlying health conditions. We asked doctors around the country to share what they look for while examining patients. The most important tip we took away: You should worry most about a change in appearance. If symptoms are new, tell your physician.
Dry, flaky skin or lips
This is a common warning sign of dehydration. It may also indicate a more serious problem that affects sweat gland function, such as hypothyroidism (marked by insufficient levels of thyroid hormone) or diabetes, says Roshini Raj, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine and author of What the Yuck?! Other signs of hypothyroidism include feeling cold, weight gain, and fatigue. Diabetes symptoms include extreme thirst, frequent urination, and blurry vision.