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What is jaundice?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Jaundice is a yellow discoloration of the skin, as well as the whites of the eyes and mucous membranes. It is a consequence of the accumulation of elevates levels of bile pigments and bilirubin is the blood. It is usually a sign of an abnormality or a disease process affecting the liver.

Diana Meeks
Diana Meeks on behalf of Sigma Nursing
Family Practitioner

Jaundice is when the skin, or sometimes the whites of the eyes, take on a yellow hue. It can indicate problems with the liver or gallbladder, or be a symptom of another condition. If you have jaundice, you should speak with your doctor.

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Jaundice is a yellow discoloration of the skin, whites of the eyes, and mucous membranes caused by an increase of bilirubin present in the blood (hyperbilirubinemia).

Jaundice happens when the body can’t get rid of bilirubin, which is normally excreted in bile, so it builds up, causing the skin and eyes to become yellow. This happens when liver cancer blocks bile from draining or when sick liver cells can’t do their jobs properly, causing bile to spill out into the bloodstream. Bile in the skin also makes it itchy.

Continue Learning about Liver Disease Signs & Symptoms

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.