Besides the skin that covers the entire body and face, other structures such as the eyes, mouth, and nose can provide clues about one’s health. Size, color, shape, marks, lumps, and scars all tell a story. Let’s look at the skin, for starters.
Color of Skin
- Redness all over can be a sign of acute alcohol use, intense exercise, sunburn, or even dermatitis or allergies.
- A yellow hue can be due to jaundice and is usually associated with yellowing of the white part of the eyes. Jaundice is due to liver dysfunction or hepatitis. Localized yellow areas can represent a resolving bruise, but those are usually mottled with purple and brown areas.
- Rashes are usually red, and when a rash covers the cheeks and nose in a butterfly shape, it could represent lupus, an autoimmune disorder. Rashes can be patchy or blotchy from dermatitis or rocasea. Post-herpetic neuralgia is similar to shingles, except it is located on the face and is very painful. Rashes could signify a fungal, viral, or bacterial infection such as measles or impetigo.
- Pale skin can be due to anemia or when someone is about to pass out.
- Bluish lips signify cold.
Texture of Skin
Thickened skin can be related to systemic sclerosis (SSc) or gigantism. SSc can also present as tightened skin, a pinched nose, and tiny broken blood vessels. People with gigantism or acromegaly often have coarse facial features and an enlarged tongue with a forehead that grows outward like Herman Munster: