Carotenodermia (also carotenaemia, carotenemia or hypercarotenemia) is a yellowish discoloration of the skin, most often occurring in the palms of the hands and soles of the feet as a result of high levels of carotene in the body. This symptom, also known as xanthosis cutis, is reversible and harmless. Carotenodermia has been observed to occur upon chronic doses in excess of 30 mg of carotenoid per day, most often caused by eating an overabundance of carrots. more...
Other than yellowish discoloration, carotenodermia has no significant symptoms or toxicity. Note that this is not true of Vitamin A, which the liver can interconvert with carotene.
Carotenodermia is most commonly associated with overconsumption food containing carotene, but it can be a medical sign of other conditions, including:
- anorexia nervosa
- diabetes mellitus
- hepatic diseases
- renal diseases
Carotenaemia is in itself harmless and does not require treatment. By discontinuing the use of high quantaties of carotene the skin colour will return to normal.
As to possible underlying disorders, treatment depends wholly on the cause.
Many fruits and vegetables contain carotene, most notably carrots.
Excessive consumption of lycopene, a plant pigment similar to carotene and present in tomatoes, can cause a deep orange discoloration of the skin. Like carotenodermia, lycopenodermia is harmless.
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