Why Skin Yellow and Pale

Why Skin Yellow and Pale

Skin color in humans varies according to geographical and environmental factors.  That is why an Asian and a Caucasian look so different from each other.  However, within a certain racial group to there are different shades to the complexion of the skin.  For instance, an Asian can be ‘fair’ or ‘dark’ depending on hereditary and genetics.  Yet, if any person has pale skin for a long time then it is cause for concern.  Children are more susceptible to the problem of the paleness of skin

The reasons for pale skin are 

  • Liver problems
  • Stress and/or trauma
  • Cystic fibrosis (A genetic disease of the mucous and sweat glands that also affect the respiratory and digestive systems)
  • Exhaustive exercise or any other manual activity
  • Anemia
  • Heart disorder
  • Phenylketonuria (a genetic disorder when the amino acid called phenylalanine is not broken down into constituent parts.  Phenylalanine plays a significant role in the synthesis of melanin) 
  • Unbalanced diet
  • Rheumatic fever 
  • Jaundice – when a high level of bilirubin is present in the body
  • Dehydration caused by other health problems
  • Vitiligo (Skin disorder when color becomes pale in patches)
  • Albinism (Absence of melanin, a genetic disorder that causes very pale skin)
  • Hypothermia (paleness of skin due to extreme temperatures)

beautiful smiling young woman applying face cream and looking away

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Diagnosing yellow and pale skin

Yellow and pale skin can be correctly diagnosed by taking into consideration the length of time and the extent of paleness.  The kind of diet followed by a person is also quite indicative of the reason for paleness.  Blood tests can clearly reveal the deficiency of iron and the prevalence of anemia which is quite a major cause for the paleness of the skin.  Other health disorders for which pale, yellow skin are definitive symptoms are

  • Cancer of the pancreas or liver
  • Hepatitis (inflammation of the liver)
  • Bile Duct Obstruction (when there is a blockage in the flow of bile from the liver to the gall bladder and small intestine)
  • Sickle cell anemia (when abnormal genes cause the change in the shape of red blood cells)
  • Liver Cirrhosis (Liver scarring and decreased efficiency in the functioning of the liver)

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  • First of all, the root cause for the paleness is identified by the proper investigation and diagnostic methods that include blood tests and analysis of dietary intake
  • If investigations indicate the presence of jaundice then appropriate treatment is given to cure the problem
  • Jaundice it fought by taking food that strengthens the functioning of the liver, Vitamin B supplements, anti-histamine drugs, and in the case of severe symptoms, surgery is also an option
  • Jaundice in newborn babies is treated with phototherapy
  • If blood tests indicate anemia then it is treated with appropriate and effective iron supplementation which includes adding iron-rich food items to the daily diet
  • Vitamin supplements and dietary intake will also improve iron absorption in children
  • For children with severe cases of anemia, a blood transfusion may become a necessary form of treatment

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