Before discussing yellow skin treatments, it is important to understand that if your skin is turning yellow it could be indicative of something serious going on inside your body which would demand immediate attention by a physician. The reason for this is that most often yellow skin points to one of many diseases affecting the liver and is usually the first sign that something is going on that needs to be checked out.
The clinical term for yellow skin is jaundice and the most common causes are hepatitis, cirrhosis, blocked bile ducts, cancer of the pancreas, liver disease, malaria, hypothyroidism and believe it or not, too much beta carotene. Some of those conditions could be life threatening which is why they demand prompt medical attention while others may be easily remedied. It is especially important to see your doctor if the whites of your eyes have also turned yellow. The first step is to get an accurate diagnosis.
Things a Doctor Will Look At
There are a number of diagnostic tests your doctor will probably order such as blood serum bilirubin levels, prothrombin time, liver function tests, CBC (complete blood count), cholesterol levels, abdominal ultrasound and perhaps even a liver biopsy. Bilirubin is a substance that is a result of the breakdown of hemoglobin and prothrombin time measures how long it takes blood plasma to clot.
There may be other diagnostic blood, urine or fecal tests the doctor may order in order to rule out the most serious conditions which could be causing a yellow skin discoloration. You will be asked if you are a heavy drinker or smoker and if you are taking any medications (prescription or street drugs) which could be affecting your liver. Drug induced hepatitis is an extremely common condition and one that may be easily remedied if the liver isn’t irreparably damaged.
Once a Diagnosis Is Made
After having consulted with your doctor, if he or she has found no underlying liver disease or conditions that should be causing this discoloration, there are several steps you can take to remedy the situation at home. The first thing you should consider is making some lifestyle changes. Some things that affect the liver and consequently the color of your skin would be caffeine, sugar, food additives, alcohol (that’s a no brainer!) and omega 6 yellow cooking oils.
Unfortunately, those are only a few of the culprits that tax the liver but would be a great place to start when making lifestyle changes for a healthy liver. Other things to consider would be smoking which of course causes skin on the face and hands to turn yellow and certain skin care products containing chemical additives would cause discoloration either on the surface or by adversely affecting the liver.
Liver Detox and Naturopathic Remedies
In the absence of any serious liver disease, there are a number of remedies for yellow skin. The first place to start would be with a good liver detox program. There are a number of products on the market that are 100% natural and formulated to counteract toxins that have built up over time in the liver and bile ducts. Most often these products contain herbal ingredients such as milk thistle seed, dandelion root, gentian root, fennel, garlic and wormwood leaf. Many other herbal ingredients are known to cleanse and detoxify the liver among which are a whole host of antioxidants.
Then there are foods that are effective as cleansing agents such as apples, cruciferous vegetables, beets, red onions, garlic, brown rice, spinach, eggs, grapefruit, and dandelion greens. Also, any foods high in antioxidants are a must, such as dark red or purple berries, apricots, legumes (beans), nuts, seeds, whole grains (oats, millet, barley) and certain spices such as oregano, cloves and cinnamon. Although not a common household staple, drinking aloe vera juice cleanses not only the liver, but helps to promote a cleansed and healthy digestive tract as well. There are several aloe vera juice products sold at health food stores around the country but may also be ordered online as well.
Yellow skin treatments will always focus on eliminating unhealthy lifestyle choices that affect the liver as well as natural methods of detoxifying the body of toxins causing the problem. However, it is important to rule out any underlying serious or life threatening diseases so a physician should always be consulted first. Only after you have been through a proper series of diagnostic tests should you even consider detoxifying the liver or making any radical changes in your lifestyle other than kicking the nicotine or caffeine habits.