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Abdominal Skin Discoloration

by
author image Krista Sheehan
Krista Sheehan is a registered nurse and professional writer. She works in a neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and her previous nursing experience includes geriatrics, pulmonary disorders and home health care. Her professional writing works focus mainly on the subjects of physical health, fitness, nutrition and positive lifestyle changes.
Abdominal Skin Discoloration
A woman is standing with her hands on her hips. Photo Credit Anna Ankudinova/Hemera/Getty Images

Whether you notice a purple bump, yellow tint or red rash, skin discolorations can be alarming when they develop on your body. Although some of these skin discolorations are relatively harmless, others can indicate a serious medical condition. If you cannot relate your abdominal skin discoloration to a simple and harmless cause, seek medical attention to ensure proper treatment.

Discoloration Diagnosis

Although many people experience bruises throughout their life, you may not understand what actually causes the discoloration. A bruise develops when blood vessels near the surface of the skin break and a small amount of blood becomes trapped in the tissues underneath the skin. Early bruises appear black and blue, but the discoloration may change to green or yellow within a few days. Any type of impact to the stomach can cause an abdominal bruise. Although bruises generally require no treatment, try resting and applying ice packs to the bruised area for a few days. If the bruise is unusually large or painful or develops for no apparent reason, consult a physician.

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Bilirubin Blues

The condition of jaundice refers to a yellow discoloration of the skin and eyes. When a red blood cell is retired inside the body, it moves to the liver to be excreted in the body’s waste. Through the excretion process, the liver separates the red blood cell into a few components. One of these components is bilirubin, a yellow pigment. When the liver becomes overwhelmed, it is unable to process the billirubin fast enough. As the yellow pigment accumulates in the body, it causes the skin and eyes to turn yellow. Jaundice can be caused by a wide variety of health conditions, including blood disease, hepatitis, liver disease, malaria and cancer. If your abdominal skin has a yellow discoloration unrelated to a bruise, consult a physician.

Darkened Skin Details

Hyperpigmentation is a relatively harmless condition that occurs when the body produces excess melanin, the pigment responsible for skin color. As excess melanin accumulates in the body, it often forms small deposits directly underneath the skin. As a result, these pigments cause the skin to assume a darker color. Although hyperpigmentation may simply be caused by genetics, it might also be triggered by sun damage, pregnancy and medications that alter the body’s hormones, such as birth control pills. Hyperpigmentation on the stomach is generally harmless and requires no treatment. However, seek medical attention if the discolorations change shape or color quickly or if the area is painful.

Addison’s Disease Clues

Although the exact cause of Addison’s disease is unknown, the condition interrupts the functioning of the adrenal glands, resulting in a deficiency of adrenal hormones. Common symptoms of Addison’s disease include fatigue, weakness and dizziness. People with the condition also develop patches of dark skin, similar to tanned skin. These skin discolorations typically appear in areas that are rarely exposed to the sun, such as the breasts, stomach and buttocks. If left untreated, Addison’s disease could be life-threatening.

Pesky Skin Blemishes

Abdominal skin discolorations might also be caused by a wide variety of rashes that affect the skin. The SkinSight website provides descriptions and images of several skin conditions that can affect the abdominal area. For example, allergic contact dermatitis occurs when the abdominal skin has an allergic reaction to something it comes in contact with. It often produces red or purple rash that spreads rapidly across the skin. On the other hand, psoriasis triggers the development of thick, scaly patches of reddened skin. To ensure proper treatment, consult a physician for any type of rash that develops on the abdominal skin.

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References

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