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  5. Pale Skin: What Is It & How To Make It Glow?

Is your skin appearing unusually white and faded? Fair and pale skin are different and the latter may indicate a health condition.

While various causes can lead to pale skin, the most common is anemia. A nutritious diet coupled with a dosha-balancing herbal skincare can help treat the problem. However, it is important to recognize if there are other associated symptoms with your pale skin before you set out to raid the beauty aisles.

Read on to know what causes pale skin and the best natural remedies to make your pale skin glow.

Our Ayurvedic Doctor Says

“Whitish appearance of skin occurs due to the deficiency of Rasa (lymph) and Rakta (Blood) dhatu.”

-Dr. Zeel Gandhi (Bachelor Of Ayurveda, Medicine & Surgery), Chief Ayurvedic Doctor, Vedix

What Is Pale Skin?

Pale skin, often medically termed as Pallor [1] refers to skin that appears unusually light-colored or blanched. This can occur when the blood flow and oxygen supply to your skin is obstructed. A reduction in the count of red blood cells in your body can also lead to pale skin. The condition can also affect your nails, the inner lining of your eyes and mucous membranes, making your nasal and oral cavities look pale.

Dr. Zeel Gandhi, Chief Ayurvedic Doctor at Vedix, says, “Ayurveda describes paleness of skin under Pandu roga. Pandu means White in Sanskrit. Whitish appearance of skin occurs due to the deficiency of Rasa (lymph) and Rakta (Blood) dhatu. Ayurveda has recommended iron rich medicines and diet to correct Pandu roga, in spite of recent discovery of iron containing haem protein.”

Is It Good To Be Pale?

Some people may naturally have a skin tone that is lighter than most, making their skin appear pale. However, if this paleness is a sudden development, or is restricted to a certain part of your body, then there is cause for worry.

What Does Pale Skin Look Like?

Skin that is affected by pallor appears dull, faded and lack-lustrous. Often a result of anemia, pale skin may look devoid of the natural pinkish glow that normal skin exudes.

Symptoms Associated With Paleness

  • Reduced subcutaneous blood circulation
  • Obstruction in blood flow to a certain limb
  • Breathlessness
  • Dizziness
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Nausea
  • Pain and body cramps

There are around 10 different types of anemia that can affect the number and lifespan of your red blood cells. All of these conditions can lead to pale skin.

What Are The Causes Of Pale Skin?

1. Anemia

In this condition, a decrease in healthy blood cells causes a reduction in oxygen supply to different parts of the body. This may also be referred to as low hemoglobin. Pale skin on the face and especially in one’s palms (palmar pallor [2]) is one of the first signs of anemia which aids the diagnosis of the condition. The two broad classifications of anemia are:

A. Chronic Anemia

This is caused when there is a gradual decrease in RBCs usually due to iron or vitamin B12 deficiencies. Certain health disorders such as chronic kidney disease [3] can also lead to low hemoglobin in the body. In such people, pale skin might be a more permanent condition.

B. Acute Anemia

This occurs when there is a sudden drop in RBC count due to hemorrhage. Pale skin in such conditions may be localized and exist till adequate blood supply is restored.

2. Frostbite

man freezes in the cold in the forest and tries to wipe his hands

In extremely cold temperatures one may suffer from frostbite. in which the tissues underneath your skin are deprived of adequate blood supply. This can cause numbness and pale skin.

3. Infection

Various bacterial and viral infections can lead to hemolysis [4] (destruction of red blood cells) in the body. Conditions such as malaria, mycoplasma pneumonia, oroya can all cause hemolytic anemia, symptoms of which include pale skin.

4. Reduced Sun Exposure

Experts claim that when the skin is deprived of sunlight it can hinder sufficient production of certain nutrients that are essential to the body. This can result in pale skin.

5. Respiratory Conditions

Respiratory disorders can cause breathlessness as they restrict the body’s oxygen supply. This can make the skin appear pale.

6. Low Blood Pressure

A sudden drop in blood pressure when the body is in shock [5], can cause cold sweats and pale skin due to vasoconstriction.

7. Genetic Health Conditions

According to studies, G6PD (Glucose-6 Phosphate Dehydrogenase Deficiency), a rare genetic condition that affects red blood cells in the body, can cause chronic anemia. One of the major symptoms of G6PD is pale skin.

8. Raynaud’s Syndrome

Hands of person with Raynaud syndrome

Raynaud's disease [6] or syndrome is a condition that is triggered when the body is exposed to extremely cold temperatures or shock. Due to vasospastic attacks, there is a sudden constriction of blood vessels in the fingers and toes. This causes the affected area to lose color and appear pale or bluish.

Ways To Make Pale Skin Glow

A. Ayurvedic Ways

According to the natural science of Ayurveda, an imbalance in the Bhrajaka Pitta dosha can lead to pale skin. To heal the condition of pale skin, along with balancing your doshas, optimum blood circulation must be restored.

1. Abhyanga

aroma oil on woman back

The Abhyanga therapy involves a rejuvenating body massage using prakriti-specific (according to your body constitution) herbs and oils. This helps restore your dosha balance and remove harmful ama toxins from the body that are often responsible for various skin diseases.

It also improves your overall blood circulation. This ensures your pale skin receives optimum oxygen and nutrition for improved health and glow.

The following carrier oils can be used to massage pale skin:

  • Coconut Oil
  • Sesame Oil
  • Almond Oil
  • Olive Oil

2. Pitta Balancing Herbal Remedies

A. Triphala, Sandalwood And Ghee

Mix triphala and sandalwood in equal parts. Add ghee to it to prepare a paste. Apply on your pale skin and leave it on for 30 minutes. Wash off with cool water.

B. Neem, Dhaniya, Tulsi And Honey

Take 10-15 leaves each of dhaniya, neem and tulsi and blend to make a paste. Add a tablespoon of honey to this and apply on your pale skin. Leave it on for 30 minutes and wash off.

C. Raw Turmeric, Sariva And Milk

Prepare a paste by blending raw turmeric and sariva in equal parts and 2 tablespoons of milk together. Apply this on your pale skin and wash it off after 20 minutes.

D. Manjistha, Yashtimadhu And Lodhra

Add equal measures of the above-mentioned herbs in powdered forms. Mix a little water or milk to make a paste and apply to treat your pale skin. Leave it on for 40 minutes to an hour and wash off.

3. Ayurvedic Medicines For Glowing Skin

A. Nalikerasava

This Ayurvedic medicine contains coconut as its main ingredient along with other herbs. It is widely used for skin rejuvenation and treatment of skin conditions.

B. Kumkumadi Tailam

With the goodness of saffron and other powerful herbs, this oil is a complete treatment for pale, lifeless skin.

B. Home Remedies

The following home remedies can help brighten pale skin and add a natural glow to it.

1. Honey, Avocado And Milk

Mash a ripe avocado and add a tablespoon of milk and honey to it. Apply this on your skin and leave it on for 30 minutes before washing off.

Both honey and avocado nourish the skin and prevent infection and inflammation. Milk gently unclogs your pores and removes dead cells, thus enhancing your skin tone.

2. Apricot And Banana

Grind apricot kernels into a fine powder and add a mashed ripe banana to it. Massage on to your pale skin and wash off after 20 to 30 minutes.

Apricot is a natural exfoliator and banana helps moisturize dull skin. This pack infuses your pale skin with essential vitamins and minerals like potassium, thus restoring its tone and health in a short time.

3. Papaya And Honey

Mash a ripe papaya and add a tablespoon of honey to it. Apply it on your pale skin and wash off after 30 minutes.

The natural enzymes in papaya along with carotenoids help improve skin tone and add moisture to pale skin. Honey also enhances skin tone and helps strengthen your skin immunity.

4. Strawberry And Yogurt

Crush 4-5 ripened strawberries and add 1-2 tablespoons of yogurt to it. Apply this on your pale skin and wash off after 30 minutes.

Strawberries have powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that brighten your pale skin and help fight chances of infection. Yogurt adds moisture and removes dead skin cells.

5. Cucumber And Aloe Vera

fresh aloe vera leaf with sliced and cucumber in wooden spoon

Peel and blend a cucumber. Add fresh aloe vera gel to it and apply on your skin. Wash off after 30 to 40 minutes.

Both cucumber and aloe vera have amazing cooling properties that help balance the pitta dosha on your skin. These hydrate, nourish and help brighten your pale skin.

Vedix Tip: Consume an iron-rich diet and practice yoga asanas that improve blood circulation to the skin. This can benefit the condition of pale skin.

When To Visit A Doctor About Paleness?

Pale skin vector illustration

If pale skin is a sudden development and is also accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, shortness of breath or acute pain in a certain area, it can indicate a health emergency.

Otherwise, if you notice a gradual occurrence of generalized pale skin, talk to your doctor as it may be the onset of a health problem. An early diagnosis and treatment can prevent severity of the condition.

Frequently Asked Questions About Paleness

1. What Is Pale Skin A Sign Of?

Pale skin is often a symptom of nutritional deficiency or an underlying health condition. It generally occurs when there is a drop in healthy red blood cells in your body.

2. Can Dehydration Cause Pale Skin?

Amongst other factors, dehydration can be a possible cause for pale skin. Acute dehydration can cause symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness, and palpitations which can make your skin pale temporarily.

3. Can Stress Cause Pale Skin?

Photo of shocked woman because of her skin problems

Stress, anxiety, shock and fear can all cause pale skin. This occurs as part of your body’s normal response to emotions where blood supply to the skin is constricted and sent to vital organs due to a drop in blood pressure. This in turn makes your skin look paler than usual.

4. What Is The Difference Between Pale Skin And Fair Skin?

The major difference between pale skin and fair skin is that one is a developed medical condition and the other is a natural skin tone. Many internal and external causes can make your skin appear pale. This is often temporary. Pale skin usually lacks the glow that healthy fair skin would have.

The Last Word

The first step to treating pale skin is by diagnosing its root cause. A holistic approach is the best way forward rather than investing in mere topical treatments. Visit your Ayurvedic doctor for an understanding of your doshas and prakriti to know the best lifestyle, treatment, diet and skincare routine that can restore natural glow to your pale skin.

Know Your Dosha Now

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