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Liver spots can be frustrating but if want to know how to get rid of them, you've come to the right place. Here are the ingredients, treatments and lifestyle changes you need to brighten up your skin and get rid of dark spots, dull skin and patchy skin tone
Never mind wrinkles, one of the biggest concerns for women today is uneven skin tone and how to get rid of liver spots. In fact, searches for ‘hyperpigmentation’ - the broad, all-encompassing term for liver spots, melasma and mottled skin tone- rose by 140 percent during lockdown.
Unlike normal spots on the face (opens in new tab), liver spots show up as dark brown blotches - and are also commonly referred to as dark, age and sunspots. These patches of uneven skin tone are the result of excess melanin production, which is the body’s natural tanning pigment, causing spots or patches that look darker than the rest of your skin to form.
“Hyperpigmentation, age spots, post-acne scarring (opens in new tab) and freckles are all signs of melanin coming to the surface of damaged skin,” explains Dr Murad, Board Certified Dermatologist and Founder of Murad Skincare. “Melanin is produced after the skin experiences trauma, such as UV exposure.
We’ve spoken to the experts for advice on the causes, treatments and at-home products to treat liver spots and other forms of hyperpigmentation.
Do I have liver spots?
Liver spots show up as darker oval patches on the skin. These spots are usually flat, and vary in colour from light to dark brown. Unlike freckles, which will usually fade during the winter months with less exposure to the sun, age spots do not fade.
Dr Hadi Abushaira, senior consultant dermatologist for the NHS, says liver spots can appear in many places: "They're most often found on the face, hands and forearms, and are larger and more defined than freckles," he says. These spots can vary in size, from a small freckle-sized speck to more noticeable blotches, about 1cm in diameter, and can cluster together, which makes them more apparent.
"Liver spots are very common in people over 50, and women are more likely to develop these spots than men," explains Faye Purcell, Product Development Chemist and skincare expert at Q+A. "They tend to be more visible on those with fair complexions. However, people who use tanning beds, or spend a lot of time in the sun without sufficient protection can develop liver spots at a much earlier age."
Dark spots shouldn't hurt or itch, so don't usually pose a health risk. For cosmetic reasons they can be treated, lightened and removed. However, if you notice a spot changing in appearance, then speak to your GP or dermatologist. Get your spot checked out if it's black, bleeding, has increased in size or has an irregular border as these could all be signs of melanoma, a form of skin cancer.
How to get rid of liver spots
If you have liver spots then don't worry, with the right treatments and products they can be lightened or removed. It's a misconception that dark spots 'melt away' - in fact, they need to be moved up and out of the skin, the same as you would with a patch of dry skin or a spot.
It also requires some patience. You need to make sure you give your new regime enough time to work. As Faye Purcell says, "Be consistent with your skincare – a lot of active ingredients need 4-8 weeks for their effects to show so don’t be disheartened if you don’t see results straight away."
1. Q+A Vitamin C Brightening Serum
"Look out for ingredients that enhance cell turn over (chemical exfoliation) or antioxidant ingredients that can protect your skin against pollution, including UV damage," suggests Faye Purcell. "Vitamin C, Azelaic Acid, Alpha Arbutin, AHA’s and Retinoids are all great options if you are looking to reduce the appearance of liver spots." This new super serum contains vitamin C, a potent antioxidant and effective skin-brightener, designed to boost radiance and improve collagen production.
2. L'Oreal Paris Revitalift Laser Renew Ampoules
It’s when melanin migrates to the surface layers of your skin that it appears as dark spots so by shifting those top layers you can help to break up pigmentation. Glycolic acid is revered for its skin-sloughing powers so it’s ideal for mottled complexions. This is a 7-day intensive course of glycolic acid that peels away the upper layer of skin to reinstate a clearer complexion.
VIEW NOW - Boots | £24.99 (opens in new tab)
3. Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum
The success of this serum is down to a Tranexamic Acid and Glycolic Acid cocktail, which accelerates surface cell turnover so dull, mottled skin is eventually replaced by fresh, peachy cells. It's backed up by clinically proven results - in trials, 84% of testers showed a visible reduction in the look of dark spots in just 14 days.
VIEW NOW - Murad | £75 (opens in new tab)
4. The Ordinary Ascorbic Acid 8% + Alpha Arbutin 2%
Vitamin C inhibits the production of pigment to prevent dark spots from forming. This solution combines vitamin C with alpha arbutin, another powerful brightening agent, to fade brown spots and improve skin clarity. Apply a few drops morning and evening before your regular moisturiser.
VIEW NOW - Boots | £10 (opens in new tab)
5. Soltan Sensitive Face Cream SPF50+
The best thing you can do to maintain a bright and even complexion is to wear sun cream every day. This is our pick with high factor UVB protection and a 5* UVA defence. Even better, it's enriched with antioxidants to fight the damage that causes pigmentation.
VIEW NOW - Boots | £6.50 (opens in new tab)
6. Laser and IPL treatments
Laser and intense pulsed light therapies (IPL) aim to target pigmentation such as liver spots, without damaging the surrounding tissue.
"My favourite treatment to banish hyperpigmentation has to be Lumecca by InMode," says Dr Dev Patel, leading Aesthetic Doctor with over 17 years of clinical experience. "This is considered by many, to be the most powerful and effective IPL system in the world, yet has surprisingly little or no downtime for most patients."
Nilam Holmes, celebrity skin & beauty specialist, and founder of HD Brows agrees. "I have found I can clear hyperpigmentation by at least 90 per cent within just two treatments using the Lumecca system."
The laser delivers different wavelengths of light into the affected area. The unwanted pigments absorb the light and are effectively destroyed so skin looks clearer.
There's little recovery time needed, your face may feel a little sunburned for about 20 minutes. You'll start to see results after one or two weeks. As long as you look after your skin with a high daily SPF, the results are permanent.
Prices start at £250 per session. Find your nearest practitioner visit Inmode.
Microdermabrasion is similar to dermabrasion, but works at a shallower depth - so, may require more sessions to achieve the desired result.
"Here, we exfoliate only the layers of the epidermis in a controlled manner, so it helps to fight only superficial discolouration," explains Agi. "We can choose from different types of microdermabrasion - diamond, corundum and water-oxygen, aka oxydermabrasion. It is an effective method of removing discolouration and unifying the skin tone, but it only has a very surface effect. So, it will not be used in removing discolouration that is located deeper in the dermis."
This is a much gentler approach to get rid of liver spots than dermabrasion, which physically sloughs down the top layer of skin. This may cause redness, scabbing and sensitivity. Once the surface layer is removed, new skin comes to the fore so your complexion looks clearer and more even.
Agi Demidziuk, Esthetician, atDr Bejma Medical Clinic (opens in new tab) says it is quite an invasive procedure. "Dermabrasion is quite extreme but it can remove deep hyperpigmentation. The healing period of the skin can take weeks, skin can become red, swollen and bruised. It is not recommended for sensitive skin or darker skin types due to the risk of discolouration and scars."
Both of these options are best avoided for those with Rosacea and thread veins.
Prices for microdermabrasion start from around £65 for a single treatment on the face at Sk:n Clinics.
Sometimes referred to as cold therapy, this procedure involves applying a cold swab of liquid nitrogen to the skin. It stays in position for 5-10 seconds to destroy the area of pigmentation, until the skin cells scab over and fall off.
"If you have single or just a few dark spots, live liver spots, this treatment can work magic, but is not suitable for larger area of pigmentation," explains Dr Magdalena Bejma, founder of Dr Bejma Medical Clinic (opens in new tab).
She adds, "This treatment also works well on those with a lighter skin complexion, as there is a risk of permanent discolouration in darker skin types."
But once the dark spot has gone, that's it - permanent clarity, and the treatment takes just a few seconds.
Prices for cryotherapy treatment start at £50 at the Dr Bejma Medical Clinic.
9. Chemical peel
An in-salon chemical peel is a good treatment for stubborn liver spots, and works by applying an acid solution to the face or other areas of the body. This strips the top layers of skin to shed mottled patches and soften pigmentation.
"This is one of my favourite methods for treating skin pigmentation," says Agi Demidziuk, Aesthetician at Dr Bejma Medical Clinic (opens in new tab), "because during this treatment, we are able to remove the existing hyperpigmentation, but also to protect the skin against the formation of new ones, influencing the activity of melanocytes."
Do your research and find the right dermatologist or aesthetician for you. You can search for a trusted doctor or dermatologist on The General Medical Council.
After the peel, you are likely to experience some redness and sensitivity, and it will make your skin more sensitive to the sun, which is why it is often a good idea to delay this treatment until the winter months when sun exposure is a little less intense.
Prices start from around £60 for a mild peel but can range up to £500 for a deeper peel.
10. Virtual dermatologist
If you're not able to make it to a clinic, there are virtual services that may help. We recommend Skin + Me (opens in new tab), a subscription skincare brand that offers personalised treatment plans devised by a team of industry heavyweight dermatologists and pharmacists, who create the exact right combination of prescription-strength ingredients to treat everything from acne and wrinkles to, of course, hyperpigmentation.
You’ll be asked for three no make-up, unfiltered selfies and take a five-minute questionnaire about your current routine, medical history and skin goals. For £19.99 a month, you’ll be sent medical-grade active ingredients in an innovative daily doser.
The intelligent packaging means you are given the exact measured amount you need, as recommended by your dermatologist. The concentrations start low at first, then build up in small increments every month as your skin acclimatises.
What are the causes of liver spots
Sun exposure: “Sun damage is a major - although not sole - cause of pigmentation,” says Dr Murad, Board Certified Dermatologist and Founder of Murad Skincare. Ultraviolet (UV) light speeds up the production of melanin, a natural pigment that gives skin its colour. On skin that has had years of sun exposure, age spots appear when melanin becomes clumped or is produced in high concentrations. Use of commercial tanning lamps and beds also can cause liver spots.
Age: Many people note that one of the main cause of liver spots is 'old age', which is technically true, but really it means many years exposed to UV light from the sun. “As we age, the number of melanocytes in our skin decreases,” says Dr Murad. “The remaining melanocytes attempt to compensate for the missing ones, so we have an overproduction of pigment in one area and a decline or complete absence in another. This is why dark spots form.”
Hormones: Changes in hormone balance during pregnancy and the menopause can make you more susceptible to hyperpigmentation. It is believed to happen when oestrogen and progesterone (the two main female sex hormones) kick melanin into overproduction when skin is exposed to UV rays. It can also be affected by taking certain contraceptive pills and hormone treatments.
Genetics: Genetics can also play a part in the formation of liver spots and areas of pigmentation, given that the number of melanocytes we all have are dictated by our genetic make-up, so even if you've been careful in the sun, you may find them difficult to avoid.
Smoking: Yet another reason to give up the cigarettes, smoking also has the potential to stimulate the skin's melanocytes, the skin's pigment-making cells, to go into overdrives, causing hyperpigmentation.
How to prevent liver spots
There are some very effective ways to get rid of liver spots, but prevention is always better than cure. Let's start with the biggest contributing factor - UV exposure. Avoid the sun when it's at its most intense - between 10am and 4pm, and wear a high factor, broad spectrum sunscreen. "It is important to use a sun screen every day, even when its cloudy or dull outside because UVA rays, (the ones responsible for premature ageing, skin cancer and pigmentation), are active all year round and at the same strength no matter what the weather," explains Dr Murad.
If you're going to be in the sun then apply a good layer at least 20 minutes before heading outside and reapply sun cream (opens in new tab) every two hours. Wear a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses to help protect your skin from further UV damage when you're out and about.
Don't forget your hands. "Many people develop liver spots on their hands because it’s an area of our body we forget to apply SPF to, even though it is in fact one of the most sun-exposed areas," says Faye Purcell. Cover them in sunscreen every morning and wear gloves as soon as it gets cold enough - the sun's rays still penetrate on cloudy, wintry days so an extra protective layer will help shield them against UV damage.
Not all types of hyperpigmentation are preventable, particularly hormonal-related melasma. You can limit the effect of post-inflammatory pigmentation by treating acne with salicylic acid creams to purge pores and prevent breakouts. Whatever you do, avoid picking, squeezing or scratching spots or bites on the skin, as this can result in inflammation, which triggers pigmentation.
The other types of skin pigmentation
Hyperpigmentation is the all-encompassing term for skin discolouration but did you know there are different types?
Liver spots: Also known as age or sun spots, these small, dark brown patches are found close to the surface of the skin. They’re caused by external factors, the most common of which is repeated UV exposure, and affect both men and women.
Melasma: Brought on by internal hormonal changes, it’s common in pregnancy and while using contraceptive medicine, and only affects women. Appearing as tan-coloured blotches on the forehead, chin, upper lip and sometimes the stomach, melasma can be harder to treat as you need to address the root cause.
Post-inflammatory pigmentation: Spots and cuts lead to inflammation, which means our skin cells produce extra pigment during the healing process, leaving behind red or brown dots. It’s more noticeable in darker skin tones.
Video of the Week
How do you fade liver spots naturally? ›
Using lemon juice to combat age spots is really a no-brainer. The citric acid and vitamin C in lemon make it the perfect natural bleaching agent. Test your skin first to see if you are sensitive to lemon juice at full strength. If the pure lemon juice is too harsh for your skin, you can dilute it with water.Why am I getting a lot of liver spots? ›
Age spots are caused by overactive pigment cells. Ultraviolet (UV) light speeds up the production of melanin, a natural pigment that gives skin its color. On skin that has had years of sun exposure, age spots appear when melanin becomes clumped or is produced in high concentrations.How does Colgate remove dark spots? ›
This is a very simple remedy, for this you will need just 2 things – Toothpaste + Vaseline petroleum jelly...How can I get rid of liver spots in my face naturally in 2 days? ›
- Drink Plenty Of Water. Drinking plenty of water can do wonders to your skin. ...
- Lemon Juice And Yogurt Face Mask. We all know that lemons have a number of benefits. ...
- Buttermilk. ...
- Aloe Vera. ...
- Tomatoes. ...
- Papaya. ...
So to answer if vaseline removes dark spots - No, regular Vaseline is just petroleum jelly that seals in moisture and doesn't contain any ingredient that would remove dark spots.How does hydrogen peroxide get rid of age spots? ›
During this treatment, a doctor will apply highly concentrated liquid hydrogen peroxide to each age spot four times over four minutes. The hydrogen peroxide helps moisten age spots to dissolve them without damaging surrounding skin.Does apple cider vinegar really remove age spots? ›
Reduces age spots
Regular use of apple cider vinegar can reduce age spots. The alpha hydroxy acids present in it will make your skin healthy and remove dead skin. Mix apple cider vinegar and water in 1:1 ratio and wash your face with it. You can also use a cotton ball to apply this solution on your face.
The most effective way to prevent liver spots is to protect yourself from UV light and sun damage. You should: Apply broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least SPF 30 every day and reapply every two hours. Avoid the sun from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., when its rays are the most intense.Can baking soda clear dark spots? ›
Baking Soda And Water:
Using a mixture of baking soda and water can help discourage hyper pigmentation on the skin. It helps to remove the dark spots from the skin easily.
In a bowl, add 2 tablespoons of turmeric to 1 tablespoon of honey and to accelerate the process, a few drops of lemon juice. Apply the mask for 15-20 minutes and rinse with hot water to reveal a drastically reduced scar. Skip the lemon juice if you have sensitive skin and avoid using it on fresh scars.
How can I remove pigmentation at home permanently? ›
- Combine equal parts apple cider vinegar and water in a container.
- Apply to your dark patches and leave on two to three minutes.
- Rinse using lukewarm water.
- Repeat twice daily you achieve the results you desire.
When it comes to dark spot treatments, hydroquinone has been the gold standard for over 50 years. You can find this ingredient over the counter in concentrations of 2% or less, whereas the prescription has 4% or greater.How can I get rid of dark spots in 2 days? ›
Step 1: Soak 50 grams of red lentils overnight in a bowl of water. Step 2: Use a blender or food processor to create a fine paste. Step 3: Apply the paste evenly over your face and leave it on for 20 minutes. Step 4: Rinse with cold water and pat your skin dry with a towel.What is the best cream to remove pigmentation? ›
- Mamaearth Bye Bye Blemishes Face Cream. ...
- The Derma Co 2% Kojic Acid Face Cream for Pigmentation. ...
- DERMATOUCH Bye Bye Pigmentation Cream.
- O3+ Whitening Face Emulsion Pigmentation Removal Cream.
- Face acids.
- Chemical peel.
- Laser peel.
- IPL therapy.
- Lightening creams.
Its natural acidity makes it work as an organic bleaching agent, which can reduce dark/brown spots gradually. The vitamin C in lemon juice works by inhibiting melanin production (also called melanogenesis). The nutrient is often used to treat skin hyperpigmentation and age spots (3).What can I mix with Vaseline to lighten my skin? ›
For brighter, softer skin, mix one egg white with a tablespoon of Vaseline Petroleum Jelly and a few drops of lemon juice. Apply the mixture to your face and allow to sit for 20 minutes.Which Vaseline lotion is best for dark spots? ›
- Vaseline Expert Care Dark Spot Rescue Hand and Body Lotion visibly reduces the appearance of dark spots in just 2 weeks.
- This body lotion formula combines the brightening power of niacinamide with the replenishing properties of pro-lipids and the protective features of Vaseline Jelly that help heal dry skin.
Vitamin C (or ascorbic acid) is especially fantastic at treating age spots on the face because it depigments or reduces melanin on the skin—thereby removing dark spots.What is the best age spot remover? ›
- Best Overall: Murad Rapid Dark Spot Correcting Serum. ...
- Best Value: Olay Dark Spot Corrector. ...
- Best Splurge: SkinCeuticals C E Ferulic 1 fl. ...
- Best Anti-Aging: Clarins Double Serum Firming & Smoothing Anti-Aging Concentrate. ...
- Best for Sensitive Skin: SkinCeuticals Phyto Corrective Gel.
How long does it take for hydrogen peroxide to fade dark spots? ›
You can use hydrogen peroxide to lighten acne scars, age spots, and other skin discolorations. Use a cotton pad to apply a thin layer of peroxide to the affected area. Let it sit for 10 minutes, then rinse with water. Over time this treatment will lighten those spots and make them much less noticeable.How long do you leave hydrogen peroxide on dark spots? ›
- Twice a week at night, on clean dry skin, pour a capful or less of hydrogen peroxide into a small glass container. ...
- Apply the q-tip to the spot only.
- Allow it to stay on your skin for 15-20 minutes, then rinse and pat dry.
- Apply a hydrating product.
It treats hyperpigmentation with regular use. Turmeric also delays ageing process and the best thing is that it kills acne-causing bacteria. Turmeric masks can also brighten and lighten skin tone. Turmeric works amazingly well to treat dark spots and patches.What vitamin is good for brown spots on your skin? ›
Vitamin E absorbs the harmful UV light from the sun when applied to the skin. Photoprotection refers to the body's ability to minimize the damage caused by UV rays. This can help prevent dark spots and wrinkles.How long does apple cider vinegar take to remove dark spots? ›
Take one part of apple cider vinegar and one part of onion juice and mix them. Dab a cotton pad into the solution and apply it directly onto the age spots. Leave this on the skin for a minimum of 30 minutes. Repeat this once a day for approximately six weeks, and you should begin to notice a gradual improvement.Does liver spots mean liver problems? ›
Liver spots are flat, brown or black spots that can appear on areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun. They have nothing to do with the liver or liver function.What do liver damage spots look like? ›
Oval or round shaped. Range in color from slightly darker than the natural skin tone to dark brown. Develop on areas of the skin that have received sun exposure. Typically small like freckles, but may grow to as much as ½ an inch in diameter.Does vitamin D cause dark spots on face? ›
The relationship of Vitamin D3 deficiency and increased melanin production that leads to appearances of facial pigments such as melasma, unevenness and hyper pigmented patches.Is there a cream for age spots? ›
Try multitaskers such as Garnier Green Labs Retinol-Berry Super Smoothing Night Serum Cream ($22, ulta.com), Mele Even Dark Spot Control Facial Serum for Melanin Rich Skin ($24, target.com), Neutrogena Rapid Tone Retinol + Vitamin C Dark Spot Corrector ($29, cvs.com) or Pond's Rejuveness Advanced Hydrating Night Cream ...What do dermatologists recommend for dark spots on face? ›
To help brighten skin, Alexiades recommends using the ingredient glycolic acid, which can be found in products from the L'Oreal Revitalift line. This anti-aging dark spot corrector has a concentration of glycolic acid that is suitable for daily use and can visibly reduce spots in two weeks, says the brand.
Why do white people get liver spots? ›
It happens when UV radiation causes pigmented cells called melanocytes in the skin to multiply. Solar lentigo appears on sun-exposed areas of the body, like the face, hands, shoulders, and arms. The spots may grow over time. Solar lentigines are sometimes called liver spots or age spots.How can I get rid of dark spots in 15 days? ›
- Potatoes. Also Read. ...
- Buttermilk. Buttermilk fades away black spots and can do so without causing a stinging burn. ...
- Lemon Juice. ...
- Oatmeal. ...
- Milk. ...
- Aloe Vera. ...
- Turmeric powder. ...
- Tumeric Powder (Part 2)
Answer: Most people see results in two weeks after using lemon juice to lighten spots.Does honey lighten dark spots? ›
Researchers haven't drawn a direct connection between using honey on your face and lightening dark spots. But since honey has exfoliating properties, using it on your face can eliminate dead skin cells that make your skin look dull. This can reveal brighter skin.Can you permanently remove dark spots? ›
Share on Pinterest Laser treatment can remove dark spots on the skin. Dark spots on the skin do not require treatment, but some people may want to remove the spots for cosmetic reasons. A dermatologist can offer creams or procedures to lighten dark spots, or in some cases, remove them.How do I get rid of dark spots in my face in 5 minutes? ›
Use Aloe Vera Gel
As we all know aloe vera is the jack of all trades, you should use its goodness to remove dark spots from your face. To use this, mix 2 tsp of fresh aloe vera gel and 1 tsp honey in a bowl. Let the mixture sit for 5-10 minutes. Then apply it all over the affected area and let it dry.
One option is hydroquinone, a prescription topical cream that slows down the pigment-making processes in the skin, Tanzi says. "Hydroquinone is one of the strongest and most effective brightening agents we have," she says.Does apple cider vinegar work on pigmentation? ›
Many people use apple cider vinegar on the skin to try and lighten unwanted pigmentation. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid, which may act as a mild chemical peel in some cases.Which vitamin deficiency causes pigmentation on face? ›
The hyperpigmentation related to vitamin B12 deficiency is more common in darker-skinned patients. Few other cases of skin hyperpigmentation due to vitamin B12 deficiency have been reported in the literature. The mechanism of hyperpigmentation is due to increased melanin synthesis rather than a defect in melanin.Can liver damage cause dark spots on skin? ›
Liver spots are flat, brown or black spots that can appear on areas of the skin that are exposed to the sun. They have nothing to do with the liver or liver function.
How do you get rid of dark spots fast? ›
- Laser treatment. Different types of lasers are available. ...
- Microdermabrasion. During microdermabrasion, a dermatologist uses a special device that has an abrasive surface to remove the outer layer of the skin. ...
- Chemical peels. ...
- Cryotherapy. ...
- Prescription skin-lightening cream.
- Lemon and yoghurt. The anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties of both the ingredients help in healing the skin. ...
- Baking soda. Baking soda works effectively in removing liver spots. ...
- Castor Oil. ...
- Apple Cider Vinegar. ...
Hyperpigmentation is a lifelong condition. Treatments can help clear some dark spots and lessen others. But they might take a few months or a year to work. And other spots can appear over time, especially if you don't protect yourself from sun damage.What are the 4 warning signs of a damaged liver? ›
- Jaundice or yellowing of the eyes or skin.
- Pain and distention of the abdomen due to the release of fluid from the liver.
- Swelling of the lower legs due to fluid retention.
- Confusion or forgetfulness. ...
- Dark-colored urine.
- Pale-colored stool.
During this treatment, a doctor will apply highly concentrated liquid hydrogen peroxide to each age spot four times over four minutes. The hydrogen peroxide helps moisten age spots to dissolve them without damaging surrounding skin.How can I lighten my dark spots in 2 days? ›
Step 1: Soak 50 grams of red lentils overnight in a bowl of water. Step 2: Use a blender or food processor to create a fine paste. Step 3: Apply the paste evenly over your face and leave it on for 20 minutes. Step 4: Rinse with cold water and pat your skin dry with a towel.How long does it take baking soda to lighten dark spots? ›
Apply the paste on the dark spots and leave it for 15 minutes. Allow it to dry and then wash off with cold water.What food causes skin pigmentation? ›
The orangish yellow discoloration is a result of excess beta-carotene in the blood from consuming foods like carrots, says Dr. Dy. Other foods that can cause the orangish yellow pigmentation include squash, sweet potatoes, cantaloupe and even dried apricots. All these foods are also high in beta-carotene.