Paleness refers to abnormal color change in skin and mucus membrane. Usually skin pallor in children is missed by many parents as they do not evaluate the child’s skin regularly even though it is apparent. The skin becomes unusually light than its normal complexion and color. Paleness and being fair skinned is quite different.
Skin and mucus membrane become pale due to reduced amount of blood flowing in the capillaries or decrease in red blood cells and hemoglobin. In fair skinned child the concentration of skin pigment called melanin is less.
Skin pallor can be local or the change of complexion and hue is throughout the skin.
What Causes Paleness In Babies?
Pale complexion in babies can be natural sometimes as the skin becomes fairer in winter due to lack of exposure to sun rays. However, to see whether your child is certainly pale examine his hand. If the palms are red or his tongue and conjunctiva is red than consider the cause of paleness to be fairer skin. Pale skin misses particular shine and glow that is present in normal skin.
Besides the seasonal change of skin color, anemia is one of the most important causes of skin pallor in children. Low red blood cell count, low iron and hemoglobin leads to a blood condition called anemia. It is more common in premature infants. It becomes more apparent in them by the time they reach 6 months.
Parasitic infections, intestinal worms, recurrent respiratory tract infections and lack of nutrition can also cause paleness in children. The child may become pale out of fear as blood is directed from skin to muscles. The skin in such case can remain pale for few minutes in this situation.
Sudden paleness in child can develop due to severe dehydration, excessive sweating, vomiting, etc. Malnutrition or lack of protein in diet can lead to change in color and texture of skin. Congenital heart disease where blood circulation is affected can produce skin pallor.
Signs And Symptoms Of Pallor
There are many associated symptoms that occur along with paleness in children. These symptoms usually depend on the underlying cause. In case of anemia, the child may suffer from shortness in breath, weakness, loss of hair, pale tongue, enlarged abdomen, lips and conjunctiva paleness.
If paleness is localized or in one limb or a part of body, other associated symptoms may be pain in localized muscle, cold and clammy skin, sweating in the affected area. Sudden unconsciousness due to fall in blood pressure can produce paleness.
Home Remedies For Paleness In Children
Detecting paleness in children is essential as it is suggestive of some underlying disease or nutritional deficiencies. Paleness in children for a long time can affect his growth because major cause of skin pallor is anemia.
So if your child appears pale, blood test is essential tool to detect anemia. Correct hemoglobin count and red cell count if they are low. Iron supplements, vegetable soups, dates, all help improve hemoglobin level and thus reverse back the natural hue of skin.
If there is history of child passing parasitic worms in stool, the child should be given deworming medicines.
In case of congenital diseases such as thalessemia, the child may require frequent blood transfusion.