If your baby has orange skin, do not be alarmed. It is likely carotenemia if your baby eats solid foods and loves carrots and sweet potatoes.
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.
Why Does Baby’s Skin Look Orange
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 a way to do it).
This might be a hue your baby’s overall skin has, but it might also be just the nose or baby’s palms.
When your baby has carotenemia, there is an increase in blood carotene levels.
Foods that can turn baby orange and cause carotenemia if eaten in very high quantities include:
- Sweet potatoes
- Winter squash
Of course, an orange hue can be a sign of jaundice. Carotenemia looks different from jaundice when studying the eyes. Carotenemia does not impact the eyes.
When Orange Skin is a Problem
Orange skin is sometimes associated with more severe diseases like diabetes, anorexia (not a baby issue), liver disease, kidney disease, jaundice, and hypothyroidism. Read more in this article.
It is always wise to consult your baby’s doctor if you have concerns.
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.