October 12, 2010

Symptoms of Skin Problems Due to Liver Damage

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

A dysfunctional liver will often result in changes to the body’s largest organ, the skin. The liver functions as a blood detoxifier, it filters the body of harmful toxins and chemical pollutants by converting these toxins into substances that are safely flushed out of the system as bile through the colon, and urine through the kidneys. When the liver is near damage or already damaged, it cannot detoxify blood as it is supposed to. The toxins, having nowhere to go start to build up and create free radicals, which in turn help in cell damage of the skin.

The symptoms of liver diseases often manifest itself in the form of itching, skin rashes, lesions and bumps. These skin problems due to liver related problems are early signs of liver damage. There are several liver diseases that bring on different skin problems like:

  • Jaundice: Is recognizable when bilirubin serum levels are elevated. Here there are changes in the skin color depending on the levels of bilirubin. Mild cases of jaundice give the skin a yellowish pallor while severe cases can tend to make the skin brownish
  • Pruritus: Is caused when the liver function of neutralizing toxins and filtering bile salts, is impaired. The toxins then start to deposit in the skin causing itching and irritation. In most forms of Pruritus, the skin disorder is generalized but sometimes it is worse and more noticeable on the feet as also the hands
  • Prurigo Nodularis: The exact cause of this disease is still not known but it has been linked to liver diseases. The symptoms of this ailment are formations of crusty nodules, which induce itching, scratching, picking a reddish nd rubbing of the lesions, can lead to permanent skin damage
  • Spider Angiomas: These are reddish spots that are slightly raised small and radiate fine lines that appear to be like spiders. Spider angiomas could affect any part of the body but mostly appear on the face as also the trunk. The lesions occur due to increased estrogen levels that can be due to cirrhosis
  • Bier Spots: Are small, hypo-pigmented, irregularly shaped patches on the legs and arms. Bier spots are signs of liver disease
  • Paper Money Skin: This is a condition that is seen mostly in patients suffering from alcoholic cirrhosis. The skin on the upper trunk is covered with needle-thin superficial capillaries which are randomly scattered. It gets its name due to its resemblance to finely cut silk thread in American dollar bills
  • Palmar Erythema: Can occur in a number of liver diseases but most often with cirrhosis. In this condition, small florid, crimson coloration markings are seen on the palms and fingers

The liver is a very important organ of the body and liver diseases can be prevented if certain measures are taken like:

  • Maintaining a healthy diet with a good amount of proteins, this protects the liver from working too hard and helps it to function better
  • Limiting alcohol consumption
  • Getting vaccinations
  • Using protection during sex
  • Avoiding contact with other people’s body fluids and blood,
  • Maintaining a healthy weight, wearing protective gear when using
  • Taking medications wisely

More and more people are turning towards alternative medicine to help prevent and cure liver related diseases. Some herbs that are available in the form of supplements are black cohosh, ma-huang, chaparral, comfrey, germander, kava, skullcap, valerian, mistletoe, greater celandine and pennyroyal. Consult with your doctor before the use of any herbal medicines. Always take only the recommended amount as large doses could result in harmful and sometimes fatal side effects.


  1. http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/002441.htm