Regular visit of your dermatologist is definitely a good habit. Only he can analyze the subtle signs of underlying health problems. If you notice any of these symptoms on the skin, go to see your dermatologist.
Bags under the eyes
Foods high in sodium and salt can cause water retention in the body, including under the eyes, says Dr. Roshini Raj, a gastroenterologist from New York. Chronic allergies may also occur on the skin under your eyes, then they dilate blood vessels and can cause leakage, which causes swelling and dark blue-violet hue.
Skin calves or Blue gums
If parts of your skin – as your calves or your gums – turn blue, maybe you have a reaction to a certain drug, said Dr. Simzar. However, if your skin turns gray-blue, this may indicate a chronic ingestion of contaminated leaded products.
Hyperpigmentation and discoloration
Sun exposure is not the only cause of hyperpigmentation. Thick patches, brownish gray on the skin – especially around the neck, armpit or groin – can also be warning signs of diabetes, says Dr. Raj.
The skin can become gray for many reasons. One of them is that oxygen does not penetrate into your blood – a possible sign of emphysema, says the dermatologist Kim Laudati, New York. This may also be heart attack signal, indication of tuberculosis, pneumonia and certain cancers. One reason may be less known peritonitis – inflammation of a thin layer of tissue in the abdomen, caused by a bacterium or a fungus.
Dry skin or brittle nails
If your skin and hair becomes dry and have brittle nails, it may indicate a thyroid problem, says Dr. Simzar. The skin should always look fresh, without dry spots, bulges or irregularities. An exceptionally dry skin can be linked to vitamin A, omega-3 fatty acids and zinc deficiency, says Dr. Tori Holthaus, a nutritionist at Columbus, Ohio.
Extreme sensitivity to sunlight
Particularly sensitive skin to sun exposure may be a sign of an autoimmune disease, lupus erythematosus, says Dr. Dina Strachan, a dermatologist in New York.
This can be a dermatitis herpetiformis. This is a sign of celiac disease, when your digestive system is sensitive to gluten, says Dr. Raj. The lesions can appear anywhere, but they usually occur on the knees, elbows, scalp, back and buttocks, and may be preceded by an intense burning sensation.
If your skin turns orange, you may have eaten too many carrots and other vegetables rich in carotene, says Dr. Simzar. If that is not the case, it may be a sign of Addison’s disease, a disease caused by lack of aldosterone and cortisol.
If your skin turns bronze color – excluding the effects of sun exposure, it can show a genetic abnormality called hemochromatosis, which is caused by excessive iron absorption.
Excess of facial hair
Unwanted hair in women – mainly on the jaws, chins and above the upper lip – can be a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormonal imbalance where the level of male hormones is high, indicates Roshini Raj.
Dry cracks around the mouth may indicate a vitamin B3 deficiency (niacin) B2 (riboflavin) and vitamin B6. Niacin can be found in the wild canned tuna, riboflavin in spinach and vitamin B6 in chickpeas, says Dr. Holthaus.
Eyes that have a yellowish tint can be a sign of jaundice, revealing that maybe your liver is not working properly, says Dr. Soheil Simzar, dermatologist in Santa Monica, California.