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What your skin says about your health: 10 things you should know

"The skin maintains body health by regulating temperature, providing immune defense, vitamin production, and acting as a window to what’s going on inside the body."

Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels


As the largest organ, it has a significant role in protecting against toxins, sun’s rays, and other harmful substances from entering the body. Skin conditions are often the first symptoms of serious underlying health problems, including lung cancer and diabetes. A change in skin color to gray or sallower may indicate an underlying chronic illness, while an orange- or yellow-colored skin appearance may be a sign of liver or kidney disease. The skin requires lots of good maintenance from the inside as well as the outside. Here are 10 things you should know about skin conditions and how they reflect your overall health.

1. Butterfly rashes

Butterfly rash is a skin condition that appears across the bridge of the nose and on both cheeks and resembles sunburn. It is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus, a form of chronic auto-immune disease. With lupus, the immune system attacks body tissues as if they were foreign. Kidneys, skin, and joints are the most affected parts; and the condition may be chronic, resulting in fatigue and fever. Other than affecting the skin, lupus also has an effect on the lungs, heart, and blood and can lead to fatal kidney failure. The treatment of lupus varies depending on the individual’s type of lupus.


2. Yellow nodules on the skin

A yellow outbreak of nodules on the body known as xanthoma is a classic sign of thalassemia, pancreatic cancer, hepatitis, and underlying diabetes disease. Hepatitis is a common inflammatory disease caused by viral toxins that primarily affect the liver. It can also be caused by a constant intake of alcohol, medication, drugs, and other substances that cause infections. Thalassemia is a blood disorder that destroys the red blood cells, causing anemia. Pancreatic cancer affects a vital endocrine organ known as the pancreas, which is essential for digestion.

3. Itchy and dry skin

Persistent itchiness, dryness, and inflammation may be a result of psoriasis. Psoriasis is linked to diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, depression, and eczema, which leads to chronic skin disease accompanied by asthma. Long-term itchiness could be a sign of kidney disease, liver disease, overactive thyroid glands, diabetes, or a drop in blood pressure.

Itchiness and dry skin are signs of advanced kidney disease and are common in people with diseases affecting the blood, such as cutaneous T-cell lymphoma, also called Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

In these individuals, itching is widespread and intense on the arms, legs, and back. It is important to get diagnosed to get accurate treatment to relieve the itch.


4. Velvet plaques

Acanthosis nigricans is a skin pigment disorder characterized by thick, dark patches and a velvety texture that causes itchiness in the affected area. It indicates a serious health problem, such as prediabetes. The patches appear mostly on the palms, lips, groins, armpits, back of the neck, knees, face, and soles of the feet.

Photo by Elina Fairytale on Pexels


Acanthosis nigricans is a common symptom of diabetes, and its appearance needs immediate medical attention. Other potential causes of velvet plaques include:

  • Some types of stomach cancer

  • Auto-immune disorders such as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis

  • Genetics

  • Low levels of thyroid hormone

  • Pituitary gland disorder

  • Gastric adenocarcinoma

This condition can affect both men and women, but it is most common in people who are overweight and have prediabetes or diabetes. Consider consulting a dermatologist whenever you notice a patch to rule out other possible causes.


5. Violet bumps, itchy on the wrist

The flat-topped, reddish-purple rash is known as lichen nitidus, which is a skin condition that is characterized by glistening, skin-colored bumps that appear as tiny dots on the skin surface. It is an abnormal inflammation associated with other diseases such as lichen planus, tuberculosis, juvenile rheumatoid, eczema (atopic dermatitis), and Crohn’s disease, which is linked with inflammation of the digestive tract lining and results in severe diarrhea, malnutrition, and abdominal pain. Lichen nitidus may lead to a long-term skin condition and health complications that can make a person feel embarrassed or self-conscious.

6. Changes in your nails

Changes in the nail's appearance may be a sign of a medical condition and require immediate attention. Discoloration, change in shape, brittle nails, bleeding around the nails, swelling, and the nail separating from the skin indicate certain diseases such as pneumonia, uncontrolled diabetes, zinc deficiency, cardiovascular diseases, pulmonary diseases, AIDS, liver diseases, and hypothyroidism.

It is critical to consult your doctor if you notice any of these nail appearances in order to rule out serious medical conditions.


7. Leg plaque: gold in the center and red on the edge

Necrobiosis lipoidica diabeticorum, a skin condition associated with diabetes and blood vessel inflammation caused by autoimmune factors, is to blame. It leads to a reddish-brown area on the skin that affects more people with diabetes 1 than those with diabetes 2. The condition is increased by smoking and acts by damaging the proteins in the skin (collagen).

8. Excess white and fine hair

Internal cancers such as ovarian, lung, and gastrointestinal cancers may have symptoms on the skin. Excessive fine white hairs, especially on the face, are known as "malignant down," which is an omnipresent sign of internal malignancy associated with colon and lung cancer. White hair also indicates a deficiency in vitamin B-12, a thyroid disorder, and an autoimmune disease where the body's immune system attacks its own cells.


9. Premature aging

Premature aging signs such as sagging, wrinkles, and dark spots on the skin clearly indicate something is wrong. A poor diet, oxidation damage due to free radicals, stress, smoking, and environmental toxins may also contribute to damaging the skin tissues. Underlying causes of skin aging include toxins, poor diet, stress, and gut infection. You can heal and improve your gut health by:

  • Adding HCL and digestive enzymes to your regime will facilitate nutrient absorption and improve digestion.

  • Restore good bacteria with probiotics to assist in the re-establishment of balanced and healthy good bacteria essential to healing the gut.

  • Take nutrients that assist the gut to repair itself, such as l-glutamine, an amino acid that facilitates gut lining, collagen, omega-3 fatty acids, and zinc supplements, which also help your gut.

Photo by Jairo Vargas on Pexels


10. Eczema

Eczema appears in different forms and is linked to a red, itchy rash on the top layer of the skin. It is an inflammatory condition caused by allergies and autoimmune diseases. It indicates a gut infection, including small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO) and candida overgrowth. It is recommended to avoid inflammatory foods and consume more antioxidant foods to treat the inflammation that contributes to eczema.

Your immunity is a complex puzzle determined by various aspects of health. The integrity of your inflammation, gut barrier, detoxification, toxic load, and free radicles determines how your immune system functions. The skin has a vital role in protecting and alerting us to what is going on under the surface, including high blood glucose, hormonal imbalance, food sensitivity, and more. Identifying what the skin says about your health may help you get to the root cause of your symptom and achieve optimal health.


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