Are you talking about the yellowing of the skin? This is jaundice. It happens when your liver is stressed. It isn’t able to clean the toxins out of your blood, so they build up and make your skin yellow.
Interesting question, Julien. There are a lot of things that may change a person’s skin color, but as far as illnesses go, two main reasons it will change are due to fever,or liver disease. In the case of fever, your skin may turn red. Since your body is over heating when you have a fever, your blood vessels actually move closer to the surface of your skin in an attempt to dissipate some heat. This will cause your skin to appear pink, or red, something that also may occur when intoxicated. Another reason for your skin to change color is if you have liver disease. If your liver is not sufficiently breaking down red blood cells, they may break down in other places of the body, which produces a yellow color. Also, the color of your skin may seem to fade, or go pale, in the event that you have low blood pressure, something that can be caused by a number of illnesses.
Hope this helps!
p.s. there are many other reasons for skin to change color. it sort of depends on how you define the word “sick.” there are many conditions that aren’t necessarily referred to as a sickness that can cause your skin to change color, for example, anemia, diabetes, even my example of liver disease possibly.
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