Liver diseases often cause skin problems. This group of symptoms appears in the case of the development of liver failure or against the background of cholestasis - stagnation of bile. Treating advanced liver disease is very difficult, time-consuming, expensive and not always effective. Therefore, it is better to pay attention to the symptoms in a timely manner, including from the skin, in order to identify dangerous pathologies at an early stage, when it is much easier to cope with them.
Skin problems with liver failure
Liver failure means that the liver has actually been destroyed by a pathological process. This is usually a consequence of cirrhosis - an advanced stage of liver fibrosis. In turn, cirrhosis develops against the background of alcohol abuse, viral hepatitis or gallstone disease.
Skin manifestations in severe liver disease:
- itchy skin;
- xanthomas and xanthelasmas - yellow plaques on the skin;
- spider veins;
- palmar erythema - redness of the palms;
- livedo - vasodilation of the skin;
- hepatic purpura - multiple hemorrhages on the skin;
- "Jellyfish head" - large, twisting veins on the abdomen.
With the development of portal hypertension syndrome, an earthy complexion and increased pigmentation of exposed parts of the body appear.
Cutaneous manifestations in cholestasis
Cholestasis is a congestion of bile. It enters the bloodstream and causes itchy skin. With a high level of bilirubin, the sclera (whites of the eyes) turn yellow, and with a very high level, the skin of the trunk, and then the skin of other parts of the body also turns yellow. In the initial stages of the disease, there is still no jaundice, but itching is already appearing. Examination of such patients often reveals excoriation (scratching) in the absence of the primary elements of the rash.
What to do?
If you have skin problems, you need to see a doctor and get diagnosed: do an ultrasound of the abdominal organs and take blood tests. Cholestasis can be intrahepatic or extrahepatic. It is caused by many different reasons, and some of them can be eliminated. For example, bile stagnation can be associated with taking medications, and to normalize the outflow of bile, it is enough to replace it with another drug. But in some cases, cholestasis is caused by serious illnesses such as cancer, cirrhosis, or viral hepatitis C. Whatever the reasons, the patient needs examination and treatment. Long-term cholestasis leads to cirrhosis of the liver - a very dangerous pathology, one of the main causes of death in the population under the age of 60.
Treatment requires the detection of the cause of cholestasis, if possible - its elimination or compensation. In order to normalize the outflow of bile and improve liver function, drugs from the ursosan group are used. Not all liver diseases have manifestations on the skin. Not all skin problems are liver related. But if itching, hemorrhage lesions, a yellow tint or fatty plaques appear, you should consult a doctor as soon as possible. Some liver pathologies are difficult, lead to organ destruction and dysfunction, but do not give severe symptoms for a long time, therefore, they are not always detected in a timely manner.
Take care of the liver and be healthy!