The skin has the ability to help humans indicate when there is something wrong within our bodies.
Liver disease can also be indicated on the skin. Both acute and chronic liver diseases are can be made visible on the skin.
Being able to identify these changes in the skin can help you identify what is wrong with the liver and how to diagnose it.
Skin Problems Related To Liver Disease
This is a yellowish or greenish pigmentation of the skin and whites of the eyes due to high bilirubin levels.
It is caused by a liver dysfunction in which the liver unable to metabolize correctly causing a build-up of bilirubin.
- Itchy Skin (Pruritus)
This is characterized by a sensation that causes the desire or reflex to scratch. The sensation of itching is due to nearly every liver disease, but the most common chronic hepatitis C viral infection and other forms of viral hepatitis.
- Age Spots
Age spots are sometimes called liver spots, but these actually are not caused by anything to do with this organ. They are blemishes on the skin associated with aging and exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun. They range in color from light brown to red or black. They are manifestations of excess sun exposure.
- Porphyria Cutanea Tarda (PCT)
This is a type of Porphyria which is a group of liver disorders. It causes substances called porphyrins to build up in the body, negatively affecting the skin or nervous system. PCT is a condition that causes painful blisters, scarring, change in skin color, and sensitivity to the sun. PCT may require clinical treatment by a doctor.
- Spider Angioma
This is a type of telangiectasis found slightly beneath the skin’s surface, often containing a central red spot and deep reddish extensions. It is seen on the skin like a spider’s web or a spider’s legs. However, having more than three spider angiomas is likely to be abnormal and may be a sign of liver disease and/or hepatitis C.
Other diseases include;
- Palmar erythema
- Paper money skin
- Pigmentary changes