Skin Discoloration

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Old 23-Apr-2009
Skin Discoloration

A flawless, glowing complexion is the dream of almost every person on the face of this planet. Though there are people who have such a lovely skin, sadly, they do not make up majority of the world population. Harsh rays of the sun and the presence of dust almost everywhere, combined with growing levels of pollution, very often leads to skin problems like sunburn, pimples, acne, blackheads, etc. Another skin problem that affects significant percentage of the population is skin discoloration, which might range from paleness of the skin to its turning bluish. To get more information on skin discoloration, read on.

Types & Causes of Skin Discoloration

Cyanosis can be described as the turning of skin or mucous membranes into purplish or bluish color. The reason for this type of skin discoloration is a lack of oxygen in the blood supply. It is a very serious condition and can be the result of severe ailments that restrict the inhalation or circulation of oxygen in the body.

Paleness, as the name suggests, can be described as the loss of skinís natural glow and radiance. The cause of general pallor of the body might range from anemia to leukemia and heart conditions. However, it is different from whitening of the skin or hypo pigmentation (loss of skin pigment).

Hypo-pigmentation is the condition in which the skin cells lose their pigment, leading to the whitening of the skin. This type of skin discoloration might be characterized by chronic pigmentary changes to the skin, seen in the form of white patches, or it might be decreased pigmentation, attributable to decline in the melanocytic composition of the skin.

Hyper-pigmentation is the term used to describe the condition in which the certain skin cells release more pigment, resulting in the skin attaining a dark hue. The most common causes of the discoloration are mole, birthmark, chloasma (such as during pregnancy), melanoderma, Addisonís disease, scleroderma, eczema, PCOS, etc.

Yellow Skin
Yellow skin is best described as the condition in which the skin adopts a yellowish, not pale, hue. The most common cause of yellowing of skin, which is a result of severe liver problem, is jaundice, especially when yellow skin is accompanied with yellow eyes too.

Orange Skin
Another common skin discoloration is that of orange skin. To be differentiated from yellow skin, bronze skin, red skin, dark skin or other skin color changes, orange skin is basically the result of over-consumption of dietary items that contain orange-colored beta-carotene, like pumpkins, carrots, etc. This condition is mainly seen in young infants, newly introduced to solids.

Dark Skin
Darkening of the skin may be the result of hyper-pigmentation (release of more pigment by the skin cells), too much sun exposure, certain dietary items, exposure to certain chemicals, etc. In very few cases, it might be the effect of certain severe diseases, like Addison's, Scleroderma, etc.

Redness of the skin is usually the result of skin ailments like rash, flushing, hemorrhagic rash, burns, sunburn, Actinic keratosis, dermatitis, contact dermatitis, eczema, Palmar erythema, erythrasma, etc. However, at times, it might also result because of other ailments like fever or as a result of consumption of medicines like aspirin, penicillin, etc.

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