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International Academy of Cosmetic Dermatology

COLOR CHANGES

Hair and nails, just as the skin, can turn various colors, depending upon a variety of internal or external factors.  Some examples follow:

  • Blue
    • Ingestion of dapsone to excess – methemoglobinemia
    • Ingestion of minocycline to excess
    • Ingestion of silver salts turning the skin slate-gray – argyria
  • Brown
    • Escherichia coli infection of the nails
    • Nicotine stains of the skin
  • Green
    • Copper sulfate in swimming pool water afflicting blonde hair
    • Ingestion of tetracycline making the hair fluoresce
    • Pseudomonas aeruginosa infection of the nails
  • Red
    • Flushing and blushing of the face
    • Ingestion of excessive amounts of tomatoes turning the skin red – lycopenia
    • Telangiectasia of the nose and cheeks
  • Yellow
    • Ingestion of excessive amounts of carrots turning the skin yellow – carotenemia

Lawrence Charles Parish, MD, MD (Hon)
Philadelphia, PA, USA

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