Skin Discoloration: Causes, Types, And Treatment


Skin discoloration refers to a change in natural skin tone. Skin may turn different colors. Normal skin contains a pigment called melanin. When this pigment becomes too high or too low, the skin’s color will change. There are a few types of discoloration that are caused by different things. Here is a look at what causes these changes and ways to treat them.

Causes Of Skin Discoloration

    Skin Discoloration
  • Disease: A majority of discolored skin is due to illness. For instance, liver disease causes skin to become yellow, anemia causes skin to pale, and white skin is caused by albinism.
  • Pregnancy: Women with dark skin who become pregnant may experience hyperpigmentation in the face. The “pregnancy mask” turns skin dark and blotchy. Most times, skin will return to normal after giving birth.
  • Diet: Certain foods are linked to changing skin color. Items like lime and parsley are known to heighten skin sensitivity and cause discoloration with sun exposure.
  • Medicine: Discolored skin may be a negative side effect of certain medications. Antibiotics like tetracycline or antimalaral drugs may cause hyperpigmentation. This condition is also common for drugs that are used to treat rheumatoid arthritis as well.

Types Of Discoloration On The Skin

  • Pale Skin: Pale skin occurs when there is a low amount of oxyhemoglobin in the blood. It can be evident on all of the skin or on one specific area like the fingers.
  • Redness: Most times skin will become red when a person has a fever, infection, rash, sunburn, or eczema. It is usually a sign of an allergic reaction, rash, or irritation.
  • Orange Skin: Orange skin is common when a person consumes high levels of foods containing carotene.
  • Yellow Skin: Jaundice is the most common condition linked to yellowing skin. It stems from liver problems. When the color is detected, it is best to seek medical help.

Skin Conditions That Cause Discoloration

  • Vitiligo: This condition is not contagious, but causes white patches on the skin. It is caused by the death of melanocytes which give the skin its color. This condition may be a sign of a hormone or autoimmune problem.
  • Scars: After skin is injured, it becomes inflamed. After healing is finished, a dark color may remain. To prevent scars from discoloring the skin, it is important to moisturize injuries and stay out of the sun.
  • Rosacea: Rosacea is a condition that causes skin to look flushed. Skin will either have minor blood vessels dilated or rough and bumpy patches.
  • Hormone Imbalance: Dark patches on the face or on the joints may be caused by fluctuating hormones. This is often seen in pregnant women.
  • Cirrhosis: Although this condition roots in the liver, it can cause the skin to display spider like blood vessels.

Treatment For Discoloration

Since changes in skin color may indicate a medical issue, it is wise to visit a doctor for proper diagnosis. Many times a dermatologist will prescribe a topical or oral medication to deal with the problem. It is always best to avoid the sun and wear sunscreen at all times. Natural ways to treat the problem may include applying lemon juice to the skin, eating foods that are rich in vitamin C, or using extra virgin olive oil as a cleanser.

There are many reason why skin may take on a color that is abnormal. Illness, rash, or other problems may be to blame. It is wise to consult a doctor to rule out any serious conditions like liver disease or blood disorders. Skin discoloration may be treated with medicine, topical treatments, or alternative natural remedies.


4 Responses

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