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Signs are things your doctors sees,
symptoms are things you experience.

Integumentary System

Abnormal dry skin: Could indicate abnormal deficiency of thyroid function or diabetes.

Ashy: Could indicate malignant diseases, severe anemia, cancer, tuberculosis, chronic interstitial nephritis.

Bronzing skin: Addison's Disease, poisoning with certain dyes or metals, early stages of pellagra.

Brownish-Yellow Spots (a.k.a. - liver spots) on the skin: May be due to aging, congestion in the liver, in pregnancy (chloasma uterinum), exophthalmic goiter, uterine malignancies, liver malignancies, freckles, sunburn, cosmetics, mustard, turpentine and other irritants.

Cherry Red skin: Carbon monoxide poisoning

Cold Sweats on the skin: Indicates great prostration, fear, anxiety or depression.

Cyanosis (blue skin): Slightly bluish, grayish, slatelike or dark purple discoloration of the skin because of abnormal amounts of reduced hemoglobin the blood.

Discolored skin: Could indicate icterus, chlorosis, leprosy, administration of silver nitrate, jaundice, carotenemia, vitiligo, albinism, malignant diseases or asphyxia from gas.

Edema or swelling of the skin: Could indicate anemia, hydremia, obstruction, inflammation and cardiac, circulatory and renal decompensation.

Hot and dry skin: Could indicate fever, mental excitement or excessive salt intake.

Moist skin: Could indicate increased perspiration (hyperhidrosis), fever due to malaria, rheumatism, relapsing or septic fever, pneumonic crisis, pulmonary tuberculosis, Grave's Disease, neuralgia, migraine, drugs, hot drinks or exercise.

Lack of moistness in skin: Could indicate dehydration or ichthyosis.

Paleness of the skin: Nervousness, dropsy, paralysis or malnutrition.

Pallor skin: Seen in those who live indoors or stay indoors such as night workers or prisoners. Could also be due to anemia. Temporary pale skin could indicate syncope, chills, shock, rigors or a vasomotor instability. Sudden or persistent palor could be a sign of internal hemorrhage or lead poisoning. If the pale skin becomes permanent, it could indicate chronic febrile disease, chronic gastro-intestinal disease, cancer, arsenical poisoning, chronic suppuration, chronic mercurial poisoning, hemorrhages, leukemia, cachexia, nephrosis, nephritis, syphilis, parasitic diseases, tuberculosis or malaria.

Purplish skin: Could indicate interference of circulation common in asthmatics and typhus.

Red rashes on the skin: Could indicate local redness seen in inflammation, skin diseases, chronic alcoholism, vasomotor disturbances and pyrexia. Local redness with pain indicates an inflammatory process and suburn (actinic dermatitis).

Sallowness of the skin: Could indicate Cachexia, syphilis, chronic gallbladder disease, arthritis deformans, constipation, certain anemias, gastric conditions, pancreatic conditions, enteric conditions or hepatic (liver) conditions.

Temperature changes in the skin: Temperature of the skin usually correlates with the temperature inside the body unless exposed to local applications of heat or exposure to cold. If the skin is generally cold, this may be due to poor circulation or obstruction of the same. It could indicate vasomotor spasms, venous or arterial thrombosis or exposure to cold. General abnormal heat is seen in febrile diseases, although in some of them a cold and clammy skin is present.

Wrinkling of the skin: If the skin is permanently wrinkled, it may be due to aging. If temporary it could be due to prolonged immersion in the water or dehydration.

Yellow skin: Could indicate increased carotene intake from carrots, sweet potatoes and other orange foods. It could also be due to jaundice or liver disease.


  • Every minute 30,000 - 40,000 dead skin cells fall off or are sloughed off your body.
  • In one month, your body will have a whole new layer of skin. An all new you every month!
  • An adult will have more than 20 square feet of skin.
  • You will shed about 40 pounds of skin during your lifetime.

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**This web site's goal is to provide you with information that may be useful in attaining optimal health. Nothing in it is meant as a prescription or as medical advice. You should check with your physician before implementing any changes in your exercise or lifestyle habits, especially if you have physical problems or are taking medications of any kind.