One’s complexion is often an indication of one’s health, and a sallow complexion can make you look sickly and older than you really are. Normally, a healthy complexion consists of a bright, radiant appearance. There are no visible blotches on skin, no unusual skin discolorations, no scarring, and no bags under eyes. However, with smoking, improper nutrition, and other health problems, it is possible to develop sallow skin. This problem is characterized by a yellow or pale tint to the skin, and can be difficult to reverse once it starts.
Causes of Sallow Skin
Sallow skin may indicate that the person has some underlying issues that need to be addressed. In many cases, their skin will have a yellowish tint to it, and the individual may look overly tired, haggard, and generally not in the best of health. Sallow skin may be an indication of serious, medical conditions going on inside of the body, such as kidney problems, ulcers, and iron deficiency, among other serious problems. The unhealthy complexion may also be accompanied by insomnia, dizziness, tiredness, an inability to concentrate, poor memory, pale tongue, and an erratic pulse.
The three main culprits for sallow skin are anemia, smoking, and vitamin deficiency. All three of the causes may be treated successfully, but other changes in habits and diet may be necessary.
A major cause of sallow skin and its yellowish appearance is due to cigarette smoke. There are chemicals in cigarettes which constrict the tiny blood vessels near the surface of the skin, called capillaries. The smaller pathways reduce the amount of nutrients and oxygen your skin receives, which makes the skin cells undernourished and can even lead to premature aging.
If you are a smoker and are suffering from sallow skin, one of the best things you can do is to stop smoking. Not only will it allow your skin to receive the oxygen it needs, it will also prevent the harmful smoke from causing premature wrinkles around mouth or marionette lines.
Anemia occurs when the body experiences a deficiency of iron due to poor diet or an illness. The reason is because when the body does not have enough iron it can no longer produce red blood cells, which provide oxygen to your entire body. Sallow skin will not be the only symptom you experience if you are suffering from anemia. You may also feel grumpy, feel weak or tired, suffer from headaches, and have problems with concentration.
A poor diet is often the cause of anemia. A diet rich in iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12 will be a good way to start rectifying sallow skin.
Vitamins for Sallow Skin
A healthy diet is an important aspect of achieving glowing skin. Outward appearance often reflects how your body’s internal health, and any changes in skin tone, such as sallow skin, should be approached with caution.
The most important vitamins concerning the treatment of sallow skin are B vitamins. Vitamins B1 (thiamine) and B2 (riboflavin) have been linked to some forms of skin inflammation if the body does not receive the appropriate daily amounts. A deficiency in Vitamin C and copper also has an adverse affect on the appearance of skin. These vitamins aid in the synthesis of collagen, which keeps your skin plump and radiant.
Things to Keep in Mind
Check with your health care provider to rule out any serious, life threatening conditions first. If nothing serious is causing the problem, a change in your lifestyle may be in order.
Stop smoking if you smoke. Not only does cigarette smoke lead to sallow skin, it causes premature aging and is harmful to your lungs. Increase your intake of iron rich foods to stimulate production of red blood cells. Eat more dark and leafy greens such as spinach, and beans, lentils or chick peas. Increase your vitamin C intake also, for it will help your body absorb the iron from the foods. In time, sallow skin can be reversed, revealing healthier skin and a better complexion.