A new mother notices that her 6-monthby old son has a yellow-orange complexion. Fearful that the child may have jaundice (a condition caused by bilirubin, a toxic yellow-orange pigment produced during the destruction of red blood cells), she takes him to the pediatrician. After examining the child, the pediatrician declares him perfectly healthy and advises the mother to watch the child’s diet. Why might diet affect the skin color?
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Since the doctor already proclaimed that the baby is healthy, the diet of the child is the reason for the discoloration of the skin. Many foods available for human consumption can change the color of the skin due to the pigment contents in the edible portion. In this case, the baby has a yellow-orange complexion which can be a sign of increased carotene intake. Carotene is an important pigment found in some vegetables. It is where carrot got its name because it is responsible for the orange color of the fruit. Carotenes are fat soluble materials that when consumption increases, some of it will be stored in skin thus changing its color. This condition is also called Carotenosis. It is not a serious disease but can be fatal if not maintained. Proper diet should be monitored.
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