Yellow skin -- also referred to as jaundice -- is the result of too much bilirubin. According to the National Institutes of Health, bilirubin is a yellow chemical found in hemoglobin -- the substance responsible for carrying oxygen to your red blood cells. If your liver cannot successfully break down blood cells, your skin may appear yellow. Jaundice can be the result of liver disease, blood disease, blocked bile ducts, genetic syndromes and infections. Vitamins may be able to help with the appearance of yellow skin. Jaundice can also occur in newborns. Always consult your doctor prior to beginning a vitamin regimen.
Ribflavin -- or vitamin B-2 -- is often supplemented in newborns experiencing neonatal jaundice, according to "The Vitamin Book." Riboflavin is part of the vitamin B complex, a group of eight vitamins responsible for metabolizing food into fuel sources that can be used by the body. Riboflavin is a light-sensitive vitamin that is often used in conjunction with phototherapy to help reduce neonatal jaundice. Vitamin B-2 is given to newborns through injections, oral drops or intravenous medications.
Vitamin B-12 is a key nutrient that is involved in many of the functions of your body, including DNA synthesis and the formation of red blood cells. This vitamin is found in many foods sources, including fish, beef liver and clams. A symptom of a vitamin B-12 deficiency can include jaundice -- or yellowing of the skin -- according to "The Vitamin Book." If you suspect a vitamin B-12 deficiency and are experiencing jaundice, contact your health-care provider. Your doctor may recommend dietary supplements or vitamin B-12 injections. Your doctor may also suggest increasing your vitamin B-12 intake through fortified foods such as cereal and bread.
According to KidsHealth.org, vitamin A plays a key role in the maintenance of your vision and it also boosts your immune system. Vitamin A is found in fortified milk, liver, orange fruits, orange vegetables and dark, green, leafy vegetables. However, too much of a food can result in vitamin A toxicity. Symptoms of vitamin A toxicity include jaundice, mouth sores, hair loss and itching. Symptoms of jaundice and vitamin A toxicity can be reversed by consuming a diet low in vitamin A and beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a precursor of vitamin A that is less toxic.
Vitamin C -- or ascorbic acid -- is a vitamin known for helping to boost the immune system. Vitamin C is found in berries, citrus fruits, sweet red peppers, tomatoes, broccoli and cabbage. According to "The Vitamin Book," vitamin C can help to reduce the effects of jaundice. Vitamin C helps to neutralize the harmful toxins in your body that cause jaundice and works to remove them from your body. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that can help to prevent disease and infection from turning your skin yellow.
- "The Vitamin Book": Harold M. Silverman, Joseph Romano and Gary Elmer; 2003
- KidsHealth.org: Vitamins; Mary L. Gavin, MD; Jan. 2011
- National Institutes of Health: Jaundice