Jul - Aug 2017

Is Your Skin Trying to Tell You Something

By Omodolapo Familusi, RN MSN ANP-C

 

Yes, beauty may be skin deep, but it turns out that your skin could be giving you crucial clues about your health as well. In fact, you may be surprised to discover that your largest organ is an excellent early warning system when something isn’t functioning well inside your body. One look at your skin could give you important information about your overall health. Here are a few symptoms that could tip you off that there’s something more going on.

 

Dull and dry skin: could mean a deficiency in omega- 3 fatty acids.

Omega-3 fatty acids are the healthy fat we need to consume to lower the risk of heart disease. It is also important in cell turnover, which ensures your skin stays radiant and hydrated. Good sources of omega-3 fatty acids include salmon, soybeans and walnuts.

 

Brownish-grey velvety patches of skin: could mean diabetes.

A condition called acanthosis nigracans is a brownish- grey velvety discoloration usually in creases and folds of the neck or underarms. This can be an early warning of type 2 diabetes. Have your doctor check your blood sugar if you notice this.

 

Swelling or discoloration on your legs: could mean venous insufficiency.

Veins that are not working well do not pump blood back to the heart. The blood collects in your legs causing redness and swelling in your legs.

 

Yellow tinted skin: could mean liver disease.

Hepatitis and liver cirrhosis are liver diseases that manifest with yellow discoloration of the skin or jaundice.

 

Noticing these warning signs revealed by your skin is important as well as taking the next step of paying your doctor a quick visit.