Dark or pale skin color can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'worrying' to 'generally fatal'. Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.
Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms. In order to diagnose dark or pale skin color, we could:
|Vitamin B12 Need||22%||Unlikely|
|Kidney Disease||1%||Ruled out|
What is your skin color prior to suntan, compared to others of your race, or family members?
Possible responses:→ Significantly lighter/paler
→ A little lighter/paler
→ Average / don't know
→ A little darker/redder
→ Significantly darker/redder
Excessive skin pigmentation (bronzing) is present in more than 90% of symptomatic patients at the time of diagnosis. Deposition of iron within the skin causes inflammation and enhances melanin production by melanocytes. Patients usually notice a generalized increased pigmentation and occasionally notice that they tan very easily. This is due to ultraviolet light exposure and iron acting synergistically to induce skin pigmentation. Fair-skinned persons, who usually tan poorly, may never develop hyperpigmentation despite large iron burdens. Ethnically dark-complexioned patients (for example, people of Mediterranean descent) can develop a striking almond-colored hue. With particularly heavy iron overload, visible iron deposits sometimes appear in the skin as a grayish discoloration.
Pale skin is a possible symptom of kidney disease.
Pale skin, often with a lemon tint, can be a sign of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Darkening of the skin all over the body is a symptom of zinc deficiency.