Monday, August 22, 2011

Orange Skin

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My husband's mother tells the story of when he was a baby. He liked carrots so much that she fed him all he could eat. At a well-check visit to the doctor, the doctor commented on the orange tone of the baby's skin. After talking, they discovered it must be all of the carrots.

On Becoming Babywise Book Two cautions against too many yellow vegetables like squash, carrots, and sweet potatoes (yams). "...too many yellow vegetables in your baby's diet can cause the skin tone to turn slightly orange" (page 31). 

Most of the time, this is a harmless thing called carotenemia. Nothing to worry about (and hey, if you want to look a little more tan, now you know how to do it). 

However, this is sometimes associated with more severe diseases like diabetes, anorexia (not a baby issue), liver disease, kidney disease, and hypothyroidism (see http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/984934-overview.

Carotenemia looks different from jaundice when studying the eyes. Carotenemia does not impact the eyes.

So if you find yourself with a slightly orange child, before you freak out, first consider the possibility of carotenemia. You might not notice it since you are with your baby all of the time--it might take friends or family members commenting on it. 

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1 comment:

Kelle said...

My firstborn had this and they did all these tests on her, then decided to just eliminate orange food from her diet a while and see if that fixed the problem. She was a baby food jar girl (I never did this again b/c of this incident, I switched to making baby food) and all of the mixed foods have orange/yellow vegetables in them...No wonder she was orange!

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