Introduction

Jaundice is when your skin and the whites of your eyes turn yellow. It can be a sign of someting serious, such as liver disease, so you need to get urgent medical help.

See a GP urgently if:

  • your skin and the whites of your eyes look yellow

You may also have itchy skin, darker wee and paler poo than usual.

Yellowed skin is a symptom of jaundice. The whites of your eyes may also look yellow.

Causes of jaundice

Jaundice is caused by the build-up in your body of a yellow substance called bilirubin.

There are lots of possible reasons for this and some of them are serious. They include:

  • gallstones
  • alcoholic liver disease
  • pancreatitis
  • hepatitis
  • sickle cell disease

Treatments for jaundice depend on what's causing it.

Newborn jaundice

Jaunice is common in newborn babies and is usually harmless.

Find out more about newborn jaundice.

^^ Back to top


The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS Choices.
Last Updated: 31/10/2018 10:43:39