Yellow skin tone for kids

Yellow Skin Tone: What You Need To Know About Jaundice

The most common cause of yellow skin tone is jaundice, which occurs when there is an abnormally high amount of bilirubin in the blood. This article discusses yellow skin tone, its causes, symptoms, and treatments.

What is Yellow skin tone (Jaundice)?

Jaundice is a medical disorder that is characterized by the yellowing of the skin and the whiteness of the eyes caused by excessive levels of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is known as the breakdown of red blood cells which results in the production of a yellow pigment.

However, yellow skin tone can be treated with medication. The yellowing of the skin and eyes is called jaundice, and it is a sign of a number of other underlying illnesses, including liver disease, hemolytic anemia, and some infections.

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yellow skin tone
yellow skin tone

Causes of jaundice?

Skin yellowing can be caused by a lot of things going on inside the body. However, here are a number of conditions that cause jaundice:

Newborn jaundice

A baby is said to have jaundice for the first time if they have a high amount of bilirubin in their blood shortly after delivery. This disease is quite common. Hence, It tends to fade away on its own as the baby grows older and their liver matures. Additionally, as a newborn begins to eat, bilirubin is flushed out of the body more subsequently.

If a newborn has a yellow skin tone after birth, it should be closely checked. This is because very high levels of bilirubin can put a baby at risk for deafness, cerebral palsy, or other forms of brain damage.

Yellow skin tone or eyes is the initial sign of jaundice and typically appears between two and four days after delivery. This yellowing of the skin or eyes may begin on the face before spreading to the rest of the body.

Symptoms of severely raised bilirubin levels include jaundice that worsens over time or spreads to other parts of the body, fever, trouble feeding, lethargy, and high-pitched cries.

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yellow skin tone
newborn jaundice


This inflammatory disorder of the liver can be brought on by an infection, an autoimmune disease, a significant loss of blood, certain medications, narcotics, or toxins; alcohol can also play a role.

Depending on what caused it, it could be either acute or chronic.

Possible symptoms include fatigue, lethargy, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, itching skin, right upper abdominal pain, yellowing of the skin or eyes, and fluid buildup in the abdomen.

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Sickle cell anemia 

Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease that changes the shape of the red blood cells so that they look like a crescent moon or a sickle.

Red blood cells that look like sickles tend to get stuck in small blood vessels. This keeps blood from getting to different parts of the body.

Red blood cells with a sickle shape die off faster than normal red blood cells, which can cause anemia.

Symptoms include a lot of tiredness, pale skin, and gums, yellow skin tone and eyes, swelling and pain in the hands and feet, a lot of infections, and times when the chest, back, arms, or legs hurt very badly.

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yellow skin tone
Sickle cell anemia


Thalassemia is a sort of hemoglobin problem that is passed down through families.

Red blood cells break down too quickly in this condition, which leads to anemia.

The three primary kinds of thalassemia are distinguished by their own sets of symptoms and degrees of severity.

Bone abnormalities (particularly of the face), dark urine, slowed growth and development, extreme exhaustion, and a yellow or pale complexion are also symptoms.

yellow skin tone

Breast milk jaundice 

This particular form of jaundice is often brought on by breastfeeding.

It happens about a week after the baby is born on average.

Most of the time, it does not result in any complications and finally disappears on its own.

It leads to a yellow skin tone as well as the whites of the eyes, high-pitched sobbing, exhaustion, and poor weight gain.

yellow skin tone

Hepatitis B 

Infection with the hepatitis B virus is what causes this form of inflammation in the liver.

It can be spread in the followings ways:

  • Direct contact with infected blood
  • Being pricked with a contaminated needle or sharing needles
  • Transmission from mother to baby during birth
  • Oral, vaginal, and anal sex without the protection of a condom
  • Use of a razor or any other personal item that still contains remnants of infected fluid.

Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) or jaundice is characterized by tiredness, dark urine, pain in the joints and muscles, loss of appetite, fever, pain in the abdomen, weakness, and yellowing of the whites of the eyes (sclera) and skin.

Chronic hepatitis B infection can lead to a number of serious complications, including cirrhosis, liver failure, cancer of the liver, and even death.

Immunization against hepatitis B as part of a usual health regimen is one way to avoid contracting the condition.


Symptoms of yellow skin tone

Jaundice is characterized by a yellow skin tone and eyes. To a greater extent, the whites of your eyes may turn brown or orange. In addition, you may have diarrhea or constipation, and your feces and urine may both be black.

If viral hepatitis or another underlying health problem is to blame for your jaundice, you may also be experiencing additional symptoms, such as extreme exhaustion and vomiting.

Some people mistakenly think they have a disease when their skin turns yellow. Both the skin and the eyes of a person with jaundice tend to turn a sickly yellow.

Overexposure to beta carotene may cause yellow skin tone. Carrots, pumpkins, and sweet potatoes all contain the antioxidant beta-carotene. Overdosing on this antioxidant does not result in jaundice.

Test and diagnosis of Yellow skin tone

The first step in diagnosing the source of your yellow skin tone will be for your healthcare professional to do blood testing. A blood test can assist detect signs of other diseases such as hepatitis and determine the total quantity of bilirubin in your body.

Other diagnostic procedures, such as the following, may also be utilized:

  • Liver function tests are a series of blood tests that measure how much specific proteins and enzymes the liver makes when it’s healthy and damaged.
  • complete blood count (CBC), to see if you have any signs of hemolytic anemia.
  • Imaging studies may include CT scans or ultrasounds of the abdomen, which use high-frequency sound waves to make pictures of your organs.
  • liver biopsies involve taking small pieces of liver tissue to test and look at under a microscope.

In most cases, a blood test can determine how severe a newborn’s jaundice is. The infant’s toe is pricked to draw a tiny amount of blood. If the results show that your child has mild to severe jaundice, your doctor will advise treatment.

How to treat yellow skin tone 

Again, jaundice is not a disease; it is a sign of a number of different conditions. Your doctor will tell you what kind of treatment to get for jaundice based on what caused it. Your doctor will treat what is causing your yellow skin tone, not the yellow skin tone itself. Once you start treatment, your skin will likely go back to how it was before.

The American Liver Foundation says that most cases of jaundice in babies go away in one to two weeks.

Most of the time, phototherapy is used in the hospital or at home to get rid of the extra bilirubin that causes moderate jaundice.

In phototherapy, your baby’s skin and blood take in the light waves. The light helps your baby’s body turn the bilirubin into waste products that can be thrown away. A common side effect of this treatment is having a lot of bowel movements that look green. The bilirubin is just leaving the body. Phototherapy may involve putting a light pad on your baby’s skin that looks like natural sunlight.

To get rid of bilirubin, blood transfusions are used to treat severe cases of jaundice.

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The treatment of the underlying cause of jaundice typically results in complete resolution of the condition. How things look from the big-picture perspective is determined by how you’re doing right now. 

Finally, jaundice might be a sign of a more serious condition, therefore it’s important to see your doctor straight once. In most situations, mild jaundice in neonates resolves on its own without treatment and does not lead to any liver damage.

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