What are the causes of yellow skin color

It has been well known since ancient times that skin condition is an indicator of human health. Many diseases can be diagnosed with high accuracy by barely looking at the patient. Yellow skin color The reasons it can appear are known and well understood. Recognizing a dangerous symptom on time, you can promptly begin treatment of the disease and minimize complications from it.

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Nail color and liver disease

The color of the nails and their condition can tell a lot about the patient’s liver disease. They are a kind of mirror and the dullness and pallor that the nails on the legs and hands have is one of the symptoms of pathology.

In addition to the color of the nails, you should pay attention to the white crescent, located under the index finger nail. A decrease in its size or complete disappearance is a signal of a disruption in the functioning of the liver, pancreas and the digestive system as a whole.

Disruptions of the digestive system are reflected in the condition of the nails, speaking of:

  • insufficient functioning of the liver,
  • lack of vitamin B,
  • poor absorption of iron by the body,
  • impaired protein metabolism.

If grooves and long lines appear on the nails, you need to get tested for liver disease. You can see examples of such manifestations in the photo of nails of other patients suffering from liver problems.

Tongue color and liver disease

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Another main indicator of the state of an organism is its tongue. If a person does not have diseases, then his tongue is pink, with a relief devoid of deep cracks and grooves, there is no plaque on it.

If the internal organs fail, this is immediately reflected in the color of the tongue.

The color of the tongue in liver diseases, as can be judged from the photo, becomes yellow – from barely expressed to saturated shades. Jaundice, in this case, manifests itself not only on the tongue, but also on other mucous membranes, as well as on the patient’s skin.

A raspberry tongue is a symptom of such a dangerous liver disease as cirrhosis. There is even such a term “hepatic tongue”, in which this muscular organ acquires a red “strawberry” color up to purple. You can see how the tongue looks with this liver disease in the photo, and the reason for this change is the developing liver failure in cirrhosis. When such symptoms appear, in addition to the tongue, you should also carefully look at the nail plates, the characteristic changes of which, in case of liver diseases, can be studied from the photo.

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What is responsible for skin color

In order to understand why the skin turns yellow, it is important to know what affects its color. Generally speaking, human genes and a substance such as melanin are responsible for skin color, the amount of which is different in people of different races.

However, speaking about the healthy color of the integument of children and adults, they usually mean the absence of pallor and yellowness.

In the vast majority of cases, the causes of yellowness are an excess of such a pigment as bilirubin, which is contained in the blood of every person and is a breakdown product of hemoglobin.

Another reason is carotene, the same pigment found in carrots and a number of other fruits and vegetables. The symptom is typical for those people who follow a carrot or apricot diet or simply abuse these products. This accumulation of carotene, when the mucous membranes are not affected, is called false jaundice.

Yellow skin in newborns

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This shade does not always indicate deviations. According to statistics, more than half of babies, especially those that were premature, have an increased yellowness of the skin and mucous membranes. Treatment, in the vast majority of cases, is not required, but the doctor must exclude the likelihood of hemolytic disease, which occurs in 3-7 newborns per thousand and requires immediate treatment.

What diseases can cause skin discoloration

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Hemolytic jaundice. A yellow complexion indicates that the breakdown of hemoglobin occurs very quickly, and the liver cannot cope with the transformation of its indirect form into a straight one.

Hepatic jaundice. The appearance of a yellow complexion and skin is a consequence of liver pathology caused by hepatitis, cirrhosis and other diseases. As a result, the liver cells cannot cope with the processing of bilirubin and its amount increases, giving yellowish skin tones.

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Biliary tract

Cholestatic jaundice – this type speaks of dysfunction of the gallbladder and biliary tract, which occurs due to the formation of stones, followed by blockage of the ducts or their narrowing due to the formation of a tumor.

Thyroid gland

A malfunction of the thyroid gland, which produces substances that break down beta-carotene, is also a direct cause of yellowness.

Other diseases

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In addition to the above, there are a number of other factors that lead to yellowness of the skin.

Bloodless skin with a tinge of yellowness can be one of the symptoms of cancer. Also, the manifestation may be associated with an excess of cholesterol in the blood and impaired lipid metabolism.

Other causes of yellow skin include:

  • changes in the body in violation of digestion processes,
  • pathology of the excretory system,
  • failure of the endocrine system.

Lifestyle and bad habits

Any of the bad habits, as well as a sedentary lifestyle, have a negative effect on the color of the skin and its condition.

So, smoking, or rather nicotine, leads to narrowing of the capillaries, the face becomes gray, dark circles form under the eyes, due to the fact that she does not receive enough nutrients. Premature aging begins. In addition to cigarettes, alcohol and coffee are also reflected on the face. With their excessive use, the body is dehydrated, metabolic processes are disrupted.

You should be aware that the shade of the integument can also change with a passion for cosmetic procedures, in particular peeling, after which spots on the skin may form.

Which doctor to contact

It is possible to thoroughly determine the causes of yellowness only with a full examination, including a number of laboratory tests and an instrumental examination. Therefore, at the first symptoms, you should immediately consult a doctor. Such doctors are engaged in these issues:

  • hematologist,
  • gastroenterologist,
  • endocrinologist,
  • infectiologist.

In general, you need to contact your local therapist, who will give you a referral to the right specialist.

Prevention and diet

You need to take care of your skin and its color from a young age. Moreover, not only using nutritious cosmetics, although it is necessary and of great benefit, but also following the correct diet and leading an active lifestyle in which there is no place for bad habits.

It is important to understand that not only skin color should be healthy, but also the body itself, with all its systems and internal organs.

Svetlana Borszavich

General practitioner, cardiologist, with active work in therapy, gastroenterology, cardiology, rheumatology, immunology with allergology.
Fluent in general clinical methods for the diagnosis and treatment of heart disease, as well as electrocardiography, echocardiography, monitoring of cholera on an ECG and daily monitoring of blood pressure.
The treatment complex developed by the author significantly helps with cerebrovascular injuries and metabolic disorders in the brain and vascular diseases: hypertension and complications caused by diabetes.
The author is a member of the European Society of Therapists, a regular participant in scientific conferences and congresses in the field of cardiology and general medicine. She has repeatedly participated in a research program at a private university in Japan in the field of reconstructive medicine.