What It Really Means When You Have Sallow Skin

Our skin's hue can change color often. Perhaps you got a suntan, or a sunburn (ouch). Or in the wintertime, you may notice your skin looking pale due to the lack of sunlight. But what happens if you have sallow skin?

"Sallow skin is a condition where the skin yellows or browns," board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engleman toldĀ Women's Health. "As we age, chains of sugar molecules attach to skin proteins and over time cause a yellowish hue." In addition to changing the skin's tone, sallow skin tends to be dry, flaky, and dull.

While it is a common condition among aged skin, DermCollective explained that sallow skin is more of a symptom of external factors and internal imbalances. If your skin naturally has a pink hue, then it will turn yellow. And if you naturally have more of an olive tone, it could turn brown. For darker skin tones, sallow skin is not a common issue.

External causes can be controlled

DermCollective explained that while sallow skin can present itself anywhere on the body, it is typically found on the face. In addition to skin lacking the normal healthy glow, sallow skin can also increase the visibility of other skin imperfections such as scars or acne. External factors that can cause this skin condition include smoking, poor sleeping habits, chronic dehydration, and chronic stress. Internally, it could be caused by anemia or a vitamin deficiency.

We know we don't want sallow skin, but how can we help correct this issue if we already have it? According to Healthline, you can try to fix the external factors that may have caused the discoloration of your skin. Make good skin care routine part of your daily (and nightly) life. Find ways to relieve stress, and make it a point to get enough sleep every night. If you have done all of these things, plus ditched the cigarettes, and haven't noticed a change in four to eight weeks, make an appointment with a medical professional to check your vitamin levels.

Aging may naturally give our skin some wrinkles and less of a plump glow. But luckily, you don't have to anxiously await the day your skin turns sallow. As staying on top of your overall health will likely keep this skin condition from happening.