Are you sitting there wondering “What is sallow skin?” Well, you’re not alone. Men and women throughout the UK worry about sallow skin and what it may say about their health. We’re here to explain what sallow skin is, how it happens, ways to prevent it, and what we can do to help.
In simple terms, sallow skin means skin that’s lost its healthy glow. You may notice a change in complexion, yellowing, or a brown dullness. As your skin ages, some of these changes are inevitable.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t take action to prevent sallow skin. Also, there are ways we can work towards treating it. From modifying your lifestyle factors to seeking professional advice on the best skin care routine for your condition, we’re here to restore your youthful beauty and help you look less tired.
First of all, if you do notice a significant degree of yellowing, you should probably visit your usual GP to ensure you’re not experiencing jaundice. Once you have the all clear on that front, we’re ready to transform your skin.
WHAT IS SALLOW SKIN?
To understand what sallow skin looks like, you need to learn a little about the organ itself and how it works. First of all, your skin comes in layers. The one you can see is the epidermis. As it acts as a barrier between your insides and the surrounding environment, it encounters the most damage.
Inside, you have the dermis. While your epidermis is working hard to the surrounding environment around you from causing damage to your insides, the dermis is supporting it. Such support comes from an array of nerves, blood vessels, and supporting tissues.
Usually, your skin should have an even skin tone. You shouldn’t look too pale, nor should you feature large red or brown patches. Healthy skin also features fewer wrinkles, bags under the eyes are less prominent, and you don’t have any blotches that leave you feeling self-conscious.
Your skin is a reliable indicator of your health
Sayings such as “You are what you eat” are around for a reason. If your skin is looking tired, flat, blotchy, or discoloured, it’s reflecting what’s happening inside your body. In fact, most doctors will take a good look at your skin when assessing you for any condition.
Sallow skin represents an array of problems. For example, if you’re anaemic, your skin will look paler than usual. This is because the blood flow and oxygen delivery to the skin’s surface aren’t aren’t performing as they should, leaving you looking tired and dull.
Or, you might find your skin is sallow because you’re not eating enough of the right vitamins. It takes a long time for vitamin deficiencies to develop, and in some cases, they act as indicators of severe Gastroenterological conditions. Understanding who is most at risk of sallow skin is, therefore, your first step towards addressing the problem, as well as any underlying conditions affecting it.
WHO IS AT RISK OF DEVELOPING DULL SKIN?
Are you a smoker? While we’re all aware of the significant health risks that accompany smoking, few people recognise the fact that it makes your skin look dull. To stop smoking isn’t easy if you have smoked for many years, but smoking accelerates the ageing process, leading to the following:
• Fewer nutrients and oxygen reaching your skin, leading to a dull complexion
• A breakdown of critical proteins, forcing your skin to sag and wrinkles setting in early
• More free radicals, which may lead to discolouration
In addition to smoking, other factors increase your risk of developing sallow skin:
THOSE WHO EAT A POOR DIET
A poor diet can lead to conditions such as anaemia. While many anaemias arise as a result of diseases such as Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis, a lot also crop up because your diet is deficient.
If you’re not eating enough foods that contain iron, folic acid, and vitamin B12, your blood cells will struggle to carry oxygen. As a result, your skin will look pale.
Similarly, not eating a broad range of fruits and vegetables makes it harder for your body to combat the pollutants it comes into contact with throughout the day. Such contaminants exist inside your home, as well as in urban areas, and around industrial estates.
GETTING TOO MUCH, OR NOT ENOUGH, SUN
It’s universally accepted that not applying suncream and using tanning beds is asking for trouble on the skin damage front. However, if you don’t spend some time outdoors, you’re lowering your Vitamin D levels.
Vitamin D helps your skin cells to rejuvenate. At the same time, it works with the kidneys to keep your immune system healthy. Understandably, it’s difficult to know if you’re striking the right balance
PREVENTING SALLOW SKIN
If you’re reading this ahead of the skin fading process, or as you’re noticing smaller changes, then there are ways you can prevent sallow skin. Even when it does set in, forming better lifestyle habits can reverse some of the damage, allowing you to look healthier.
However, before you start making any changes, do check matters out with your GP first. Conditions such as anaemia are sometimes signs of more serious diseases, so it’s better to check them out rather than making assumptions.
If you feel as though quitting smoking is the catch-all answer for addressing skin problems; you’re right. Smoking damages your skin in lots of ways. However, said damage usually begins after a decade.
If you’re struggling to quit smoking, here are some ways to move the process along:
• Focus on your reason, so you feel motivated; for example, not smelling like smoke.
• Try nicotine replacement therapy. However, you also need to move on from this eventually, as nicotine can affect your skin’s appearance too.
• Join a support group or ask your partner to quit with you.
• Find other ways to reduce stress, such as going for a run or a massage.
• If you fail, don’t beat yourself up. Just try again.
You might also want to consider holistic therapies, such as hypnotherapy and acupuncture.
IMPROVE YOUR DIET FOR BETTER SKIN
There is such a thing as eating for beauty, and if you want your skin to look less dull, you need to start making some changes. There are lots of ways you can improve your diet to make your skin look fresher:
• Eat more lean protein so that your body keeps producing collagen.
• Avoid too much sugar, as it can increase inflammation, which makes discolouration worse.
• Start eating a rainbow. Varying the colours of your fruit and vegetables ensures you’re packing your body with the antioxidants it needs to fight pollution from the inside.
Finally, if you suspect you do have an iron-deficiency, start loading up on spinach, supplements, and other leafy greens. You can also derive iron from lean forms of steak, as well as whole grains such as brown rice.
GET THE RIGHT AMOUNT OF SUN TIME
We all know that spending time in the sun is the key to getting more Vitamin D. However, that doesn’t mean you should ditch your sunscreen or start hitting the tanning beds. Doing that will force your body to produce too much of a chemical called ‘melanin,’ which can cause discolouration.
Instead, try spending half an hour outside each day with a little sunscreen on. Vitamin D helps your kidneys process many of the enzymes we need to maintain a healthy immune system. As such, getting the right dose means your skin will start to reflect your healthy insides.
BOOK A CONSULTATION
At Vysana, Dr Dhesi has a strong medical background and will approach each patient differently depending on the severity of the acne. Acne is extremely common in teenage boys and girls and can be embarrassing, but with Dr Dhesi medical background as a GP, this will enable him to assess your or your child's skin and provide a proven acne treatment program.
*Please note that a medical consultation is required before having the treatment. Book online or call for an appointment.
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