Sallow skin: Meaning, causes, treatment

Have you lately felt that your skin has lost its original complexion or has shifted to pale yellow and are seeking the reason? If the physician has confirmed that it is not one of the obvious diseases, you might suffer from Sallow skin. Wondering what is sallow skin? Read this article to gain a holistic view of what sallow skin means and the treatments and methods of preventing it.

What is sallow skin?

This is a skin condition where the skin on the face leaves behind its original complexion tone to pale yellowish and look unhealthy. This disorder can be caused by illnesses like anaemia or by leading a poor lifestyle. This can also be caused by vitamin and mineral deficiency or excessive smoking and alcohol intake. Along with the yellowish hue, you can also notice skin dryness, wrinkles, and thinness. However, this does not naturally occur; rather, proper treatments are required to reverse it.

Signs of sallow skin

One important thing to consider in this case is just noticing a yellowish hue on your face does not mean you are diagnosed with sallow skin; rather, there are other symptoms to confirm as well, like,

  • The skin appears sick and unhealthy
  • A yellowish or brown shade has developed
  • The skin looks pale and tired
  • There are signs of ageing on the skin
  • The skin seems tired and stressed

If you are still unsure, visiting a doctor for accurate identification is best.

What causes sallow skin?

The percentage of people affected by this disease has risen sharply in recent years. The major causes can be summarised in a single sentence - poor lifestyle. This is an umbrella term that refers to heightened smoking and alcohol consumption, lack of vitamins and nutrients in the daily diet, inadequate sleep, stress, etc. Let us look at some of the major causes of this disease.

  • Anaemia

When the red blood cells fail to produce enough oxygen to circulate it throughout the body, the skin becomes tired, dull, and thus yellowish. This condition is known as sallow skin. The main causes of anaemia are lower iron and folate deficiency levels. Once the disease is cured, the underlying sallow skin will also be healed.

  • Poor skincare

Taking good care of your skin is very important, but in this rush and race, we forget to cleanse, moisturise, or hydrate our skin, which can give rise to this skin disorder. Among all, frequent and prolonged sun exposure is the worst; hence, keeping your skin under sunscreen protection like Pink Foundry’s hybrid sunscreen is paramount.

  • Vitamin deficiency

The advantages of a balanced diet are not only limited to organ health; skin can also benefit from a well-balanced and nutritional diet. For instance, a lack of vitamins like A, C, E, K, and B12 causes sallow skin since the skin does not receive enough nutrients to produce adequate amounts of oxygen for satisfactory regulation.

  • Intoxications

Smoking and alcohol consumption not only affect your organs but also your skin. Smoking especially leads to premature ageing as it hinders collagen production. Also, it reduces the intake of oxygen daily, which affects the skin tone, bringing about sallow skin. While alcohol dramatically dehydrates the skin over time. Quitting such intoxication might reverse the condition.

  • Dehydration

Global warming has adverse effects not only on our bodily health but also on our skin health. The scorching sun requires us to continuously hydrate our entire body by consuming water and other nutritional liquids. Besides, you should also take an extra step to hydrate your skin, particularly by using various hydrating topical options.

Also read: Dehydrated Skin: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment for Dehydrated Skin

  • Stress

Though it is not known to most, mental health does affect your skin health. Stress and lack of sleep are the major contributors to sallow skin. As the cortisol level rises in your body, it hinders the blood flow, which automatically results in sallow skin. Sleeping for at least seven to eight hours daily is essential.

Treatment for sallow skin

The treatment of this disorder is not very challenging or requires extreme effort, time, or finance. Rather, a few alterations in your lifestyle can help you deal with sallow skin effectively. Let us look at some of the ways to reverse it.

  • Proper skincare routine

Maintaining a proper skincare routine is paramount to dealing with Sallow skin. The five major things your routine should have is a face wash, cleanser, well-sourced serum, sunscreen, mask, and moisturiser.

Utilising a product like Clearing & Calming Acne Face Wash will treat acne and help deal with sallow skin. If you want to avoid individual incorporation of the required vitamins and minerals, opt for wholesome products like Overnight Exfoliating AHA BHA Radiance Mask to simplify your regime.

  • Healthy lifestyle

Next is to plan a proper diet. You should have adequate Vitamins C, B, E, and A throughout the day. You must incorporate lean proteins, leafy vegetables, fruits, nuts, grains, broccoli, carrots, berries, etc. Also, drink around eight glasses of water daily to keep your skin safe from this skin condition. Moreover, avoid frequent smoking and alcohol consumption.

  • Stress management

Stress and Sleep deprivation can cause outbursts like acne along with sallow skin. Hence, ensuring proper sleep is fundamental. Indulge in various physical activities, meditations, etc., to deal with these mental conditions.

How to prevent sallow skin?

There are a few ways you can avoid the occurrence of this skin ailment, like,

  • Avoid smoking and alcohol
  • Maintain a diet loaded with Vitamins
  • Meditate often and get enough sleep
  • Follow a proper skincare routine


Sallow skin is a serious skin disease, but neither the treatment nor preventive measures require professional or medical assistance. Hence, it is very easy to keep this illness away. However, remember to check the components in your skin care products to ensure they benefit your skin. Also, try opting for reputed brands for authentic products.


  • What happens in sallow skin?

Your skin becomes fatigued, dull, and pale yellow.

  • How to cure this disease?

Eat nutritious food, maintain a good skincare regime, and avoid smoking and drinking.

  • Is there any Laser treatment?

Fraxel-A laser treatment is performed for this disease. However, it is best to consult a doctor before choosing this option.

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