Ever been called “as pale as a ghost?” Here’s what you need to know about the causes of skin paleness
02/17/2020 // Darnel Fernandez // Views

Skin color is the result of varying genetic traits that are quite unique to each individual. Different types of shades, pigments or complexions can be found even among people sharing the same racial background. Even a brother and sister with the same genetic parents can have different skin types. However, your skin may sometimes become paler than usual. There will be times when you won't even notice it happening. So, what exactly causes skin paleness in the first place?

What you need to know about skin paleness

Skin paleness, also known as pallor or pale complexion, is characterized by the skin appearing much lighter than usual. While people often associate skin paleness primarily with the face, this condition can also affect the nail beds, lips, gums and tongue.

Skin paleness is very different from low pigment levels in the skin. Genetic conditions like albinism affect the skin's pigments. These changes can also be caused by skin damage from a burn or injury. Skin paleness, on the other hand, occurs when there is significantly less oxygen-rich hemoglobin – a protein in the red blood cells that transports oxygen – near the skin's surface. Below is a list of common causes for this skin paleness.


Anemia refers to conditions that inhibit the body's ability to produce red blood cells and is considered one of the most common causes of skin paleness. This disease can be acute with a sudden development or chronic and develop gradually.

Acute anemia is often caused by rapid blood loss from trauma, surgery or heavy internal bleeding. Chronic anemia, on the other hand, can be caused by the lack of various vitamins and minerals in your diets like folate, iron and vitamin B-12. This type of anemia can also be caused by diseases like chronic kidney failure or hypothyroidism; as well as certain cancers that affect the bone or bone marrow.



Getting fatigued can make a person look quite pale. However, researchers have yet to establish a link between the two. In some cases, fatigue – especially chronic fatigue – is tied to an underlying condition like anemia.

Vitamin deficiencies

Being extremely malnourished can make it difficult for your body to produce a good amount of healthy red blood cells. Vitamin-deficiency anemia, often caused by the lack of vitamin B-12, can cause skin to become very pale and fatigued. This type of deficiency occurs when the gastrointestinal tract cannot absorb the vitamin correctly or they simply do not eat enough foods rich in vitamin B-12.


Any form of excessive bleeding can rapidly delete your body's iron stores and reduce hemoglobin levels throughout the body, resulting in skin paleness. Bleeding that is severe enough to cause skin paleness should be immediately taken care of by anyone with medical expertise. If the person is still bleeding, they must receive emergency assistance immediately.

Breathing problems

Because skin paleness is associated with a lack of oxygen-rich hemoglobin, having breathing problems can lead to skin paleness. Diseases like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer are two primary suspects for skin paleness.

Acute breathing problems like asthma attacks can also cause the oxygen levels in the blood to drop. People with breathing problems can also develop a blue tinge to their skin called cyanosis.


Certain cancers, like lung cancer, can also cause skin paleness due to restricting the person's ability to breathe properly. This leads to oxygen deprivation. Further, having leukemia can affect how the body produces red blood cells, which eventually causes paleness as well.

The consequences of untreated paleness can depend on the associated underlying condition. Now that you know what causes skin paleness, you can easily identify the ways to treat them. Learn more about various skin problems at Health.news.

Sources include:



Take Action:
Support Natural News by linking to this article from your website.
Permalink to this article:
Embed article link:
Reprinting this article:
Non-commercial use is permitted with credit to NaturalNews.com (including a clickable link).
Please contact us for more information.
Free Email Alerts
Get independent news alerts on natural cures, food lab tests, cannabis medicine, science, robotics, drones, privacy and more.
App Store
Android App
eTrust Pro Certified

This site is part of the Natural News Network © 2022 All Rights Reserved. Privacy | Terms All content posted on this site is commentary or opinion and is protected under Free Speech. Truth Publishing International, LTD. is not responsible for content written by contributing authors. The information on this site is provided for educational and entertainment purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for professional advice of any kind. Truth Publishing assumes no responsibility for the use or misuse of this material. Your use of this website indicates your agreement to these terms and those published here. All trademarks, registered trademarks and servicemarks mentioned on this site are the property of their respective owners.

This site uses cookies
Natural News uses cookies to improve your experience on our site. By using this site, you agree to our privacy policy.
Learn More
Get 100% real, uncensored news delivered straight to your inbox
You can unsubscribe at any time. Your email privacy is completely protected.