Visiting your dermatologist regularly is definitely a smart habit to establish: They’re experts that can look out for inconspicuous signs of underlying health concerns. If you notice any of these visible symptoms, you should bring them up to your doctor at your next appointment to gethem them checked out.
Eyes that turn a shade of yellow may be due to a condition known as scleral icterus, which could possibly indicate that your liver isn’t functioning properly, says dermatologist Soheil Simzar, M.D.
Eye Bags and Puffiness
High-sodium foods and a diet rich in salt can promote water retention throughout the body, including the under-eye area, says celebrity doctor Roshini Raj, M.D. Chronic allergies may also show up on the sensitive skin under your eyesâ€”they dilate blood vessels and can cause them to leak, which creates puffiness and dark purple-blue hue.
Blue Shins or Gums
If certain parts of your skinâ€”such as your shins or your gumsâ€”turn blue, you may be having a reaction to a medication, says Simzar. However, if your skin turns a bluish gray, this may indicate chronic ingestion of lead products.
Hyperpigmentation and Discoloration
Sun exposure isnâ€™t the only cause of hyperpigmentation. Thick, velvety brownish gray patches on the skinâ€”especially around the neck, armpit, or groinâ€”could also be an early sign of diabetes, says Raj.
Gray skin can appear for a number of reasons. One could be that oxygen isn’t getting to your bloodâ€”a possible sign of emphysema, says Kim Laudati. It could also signal an impending heart attack. Other things it could point to include pulmonary tuberculosis, pneumonia, and some cancers. A lesser-known reason for gray skin can be peritonitisâ€”an inflammation of a thin layer of tissue inside the abdomen, which is caused by bacteria or fungus.
Dry Skin or Nails
If your skin becomes dry and your hair and nails become brittle, this could potentially point to a thyroid problem, says Simzar. Skin should always appear smooth, with no rashes, swelling or scales. Exceptionally dry skin may be due to a lack of sufficient vitamin A, essential fatty acids like omega-3s, or zinc, says Tori Holthaus, R.D.
Extreme Sensitivity to Sun
Skin that is especially sensitive to sun exposure can be a sign of the autoimmune disease lupus erythematosus, says dermatologist Dina D. Strachan, M.D.
Itchy, Blistering Rash
This can be known as dermatitis herpetiformis. It’s a sign of celiac disease when your digestive system is sensitive to gluten, says Raj. Lesions can appear anywhere but occur most often around the knees, elbows, scalp, back and buttocks, and may be preceded by an intense burning sensation.
If your skin turns orange, you may be over-consuming carrots or other vegetables rich in carotene, says Simzar.
If your skin turns bronzeâ€”not including the effects of sun bathingâ€”this may show a hereditary disorder called hemochromatosis, says Simzar.
Excess Facial Hair
Unwanted hair in womenâ€”predominantly along the jawline, chin, and upper lipâ€”can be a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormone imbalance in which male hormone levels are elevated, says Raj.
Dry cracks around the mouth may indicate a deficiency of B vitamins like niacin, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. You can find niacin in canned wild tuna, riboflavin in spinach, and B6 in chickpeas, says Holthaus.
Source: Daily Makeover