Your face can be a barometer of your health

Look into the mirror. Your face is not only your identity but also a vital indicator of your inner condition – both physical and mental. Examining facial parts like eyes, mouth, tongue and skin play an important role in diagnosis. The malfunctioning of certain internal organs, infections, deficiencies and hormonal imbalances are reflected in those parts.


Yellowish skin: It is a sign of jaundice and liver ailments. When bilirubin (an orange-yellow pigment formed in the liver by the breakdown of haemoglobin and excreted in bile) is not removed properly by the liver, it gets deposited in the skin cells giving it a yellowish tinge.

Spotty complexion: Signals polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). PCOS is a woman’s hormonal problem which causes acne and hair growth, among other symptoms. IBS causes frequent diarrhoea or constipation and abdominal pain.

Dull skin: If the skin looks lifeless and sallow it indicates dehydration.


Pale eyelids: The skin inside the lower eyelids should look bright pink. If it looks pale it indicates that you are anaemic.

Drooping eyelids: Signal eye strain. Computer use for long periods and working in poor light may strain eye muscles. It is also observed in the case of a stroke.

Red, bloodshot eyes: Signal a number of diseases but bacterial infection is the most common cause. Red, sore eyes may also be because of iritis – inflammation of the iris (the coloured part of the eye).

Twitching eye: Random muscle contraction leading to twitching may be triggered by magnesium deficiency. Sometimes, twitching of the eye occurs due to serious nervous conditions.

White rings: A high cholesterol level in your blood may cause white rings around the coloured part of the eye.


Ulcers: Mouth ulcers may be due to deficiency of vitamin B12, iron and folates in your body. Hard brushing, minor burns from hot food or drink and obstructing teeth could also cause them. If they don’t heal within a week, consult a doctor. In rare cases, they may be an early sign of oral cancer.

Bleeding gums: This may occur due to several conditions, including poor oral hygiene, pregnancy and acidic condition inside your mouth. In rare cases, it can be a signal of leukaemia.

Cracked lips: Indicate anaemia. This may be a symptom of growth of candida – a yeast-like infection caused by high blood sugar levels.

Cracks on tongue: Indicate dehydration. Cracks at the tip may indicate mental stress while cracks on the centre of the tongue may be because of digestive problems.

White patches on tongue: Creamy white patches indicate presence of oral thrush which can be cleared by using an anti-fungal mouthwash. If the white patches can’t be scraped away and persist they may be an early warning sign of cancer.

Grey tongue: This occurs due to phlegm accumulation from flu of cold viruses.



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