9 Signals Your Skin Tells You That Reflects Health Conditions — Itchy Skin Could Mean Liver Disease

February 25, 2019 Updated: February 26, 2019

Have you heard the saying “love the skin you’re in?” Well, your skin certainly loves pampering, but what about when it shows us signs that something is amiss in our bodies? We need to pay attention to its messages—they could be a warning that all is not well within the body. Here are some of those signs.

1. Liver disease

Illustration – Shutterstock | Kunlanan Yarist

Does your skin itch? Liver diseases such as cirrhosis or hepatitis can cause an itchy skin, as bile byproducts are deposited under the skin. If the skin is especially red and itchy, it may be an early symptom of liver disease. Make some healthy changes, give up alcohol, eat a balanced diet, and get some exercise. Your liver will thank you, as will the rest of your body. A healthy liver is needed for many functions, including ridding the body of harmful toxins and chemicals.

2. Shingles

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Shingles is a painful rash that develops into itchy blisters, and is caused by the same virus that causes chicken pox. Antiviral medications are effective if treatment commences shortly after the rash appears.

3. Allergies

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Raised, red welts known as hives or urticaria can have many triggers: changes in temperature, hot or cold, sweating during exercise, contact with certain plants, insect stings, or allergy to certain foods. If the hives occur along with difficulty breathing or a swollen tongue or throat, anaphylaxis should be suspected, and urgent medical attention is required.

4. Dry, itchy skin

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If your skin is dry no matter how much you moisturize, climate could be a factor, or eczema—which will cause itching and inflaming. Eczema has been found to be related to asthma and hayfever.

5. Sun spots

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Sunspots are a measure of the amount of time spent under the harsh sun without protection as a young child or teenager. The spots and moles become more obvious as you age, and any changes in moles should be taken note of, as they may turn cancerous. White spots that appear on the skin are usually a result of a loss of pigmentation, again caused by years of sun exposure.

6. Flushing

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Unless you’re blushing from embarrassment or shyness, flushed skin can be a sign of rosacea if it causes the forehead and cheeks to become red. It can also be caused by changes in hormones and may signal menopause.

7. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS)

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Women with male-pattern facial hair growth and acne that just won’t go away no matter what treatment you use may be suffering from PCOS, especially if accompanied by infertility, irregular menstrual cycle, or no cycle. This is a hormone imbalance that can be treated, and your skin will become clear again. Blood tests are needed to diagnose PCOS.

8. Severe itching

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A painless lymph node swelling accompanied by other symptoms such as severe itching, fatigue, and night sweats can be symptoms of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. This is cancer of the lymph nodes, and may spread to other parts of the body. Seek medical attention, as early treatment may save your life.

9. Cholesterol deposits around the eyes

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Yellow or whitish lumps, known as xanthelasma, can form under the skin of the inner areas of the eyelids. This can occur if you have an excess of  lipids such as cholesterol or triglycerides in the bloodstream. The cause can be either genetic, lifestyle choices, or result from some medications. Blood tests may be needed to determine the cause. Though they may be unsightly, they don’t interfere with your eyesight.

There are many causes for skin complaints; fortunately, most of them are curable. Health conditions can reflect on the skin. You just need to be alert to the signals it may be sending to you.

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