Why Anemia Causes Pale Skin and Other Signs of Low Iron

Woman with pale skin because of anemia

Not only are the effects of anemia internal, but they produce outward symptoms as well that are visible to the naked eye. One of these external symptoms is pale skin, which is an abnormal lightness of the skin as compared to a person’s typical complexion.

Looking pale can make people feel less confident about the way they look and exhibit physical qualities of frailty, weakness, and tiredness.

Here is a discussion of the symptom of paleness associated with anemia and why pale skin is one of the outwardly visible signs of low iron. This article will also address treatments for skin looking pale as a result of low iron and anemia.

Why Am I Pale?

Human skin begins looking pale due to reduced blood flow, reduced access to oxygen, or a lower number of red blood cells than normal. The blood circulating throughout the body gives color to the skin and mucous membranes, so abnormal conditions of the blood and blood cells can alter a person’s natural color.

Various forms of paleness can be localized in just the face, in a single limb, or exist all over the body. Specific areas where paleness is common include the palms of the hands, the tongue, the fingernails, the inner membranes of the lower eyelids, and the mucous membranes inside the mouth.

Anemia is a very common cause of paleness because this is a condition that prohibits the body from producing an adequate number of red blood cells. Other causes of paleness besides anemia are cold exposure, lack of sunlight, shock, and arterial blockages.

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The Visible Effects of Anemia

However, pale skin isn’t the only external sign of anemia that a person may exhibit. People who have anemia may also lose their hair and have brittle nails. The hair that doesn’t fall out may lack luster and shine, displaying a dull and lifeless appearance.

Another one of the external effects of anemia is cracks around the mouth. Anemia may also make a person appear more irritable, anxious, or clumsy. Anemia sufferers are more likely to develop bruises, which are visible on the exterior of the skin.

Treatments for Skin Looking Pale

Since paleness is not a medical disorder in and of itself, it is important to determine the root cause of one’s paleness to seek an effective treatment. A thorough evaluation of other symptoms that accompany paleness must be conducted to determine if serious conditions like arterial blockages or chronic anemia exist. Other conditions that are associated with pale skin as a symptom include dehydration, hypothyroidism, thalassemia, a vitamin B-12 deficiency, depression, eating disorders, and hypoglycemia. Of course, each of these conditions is treated in a very different and specific way.

If an iron deficiency is to blame for pale skin, then Fergon, a high potency iron supplement, may be able to help restore skin to its natural color. Vitamin B-12 and folate supplements may be recommended as well, depending on the cause of one’s paleness. Overall, eating a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is a great preventative measure to keep skin looking fresh and healthy every day.

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