All You Need To Know About Pale Skin Tone

A woman smiling and showing her radiant skin | pale skin tone

Pale skin, also known as pallor, is a condition in which the natural skin colour appears lighter than usual. It can affect the entire body or just one area, such as the face. It can affect people of any skin tone, but it is more noticeable in those with darker skin tones. Paleness on the surface of the tongue, inside of the mouth, and the lining of the eyes is usually associated with the condition. It can also be an indication of an underlying disease at times. Did you know that a sudden drop in red blood cell count in the body can also result in pale skin?

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What is Pale Skin tone?

Pale skin refers to abnormal skin or mucous membrane whitening. Pale skin may be universal (appearing all over the body) or localised. It is often accompanied by the pale lining of the eyes, the inside of the mouth, and the surface of the tongue. 

Paleness may be caused by a reduction in blood flow and oxygen, as well as a drop in the number of red blood cells. It might appear all over the skin or more locally. Localized pallor generally affects just one limb. If you have a general or pale limb, you should consult your doctor.

How do you know if your skin is pale?

A paler complexion gives the impression that the skin is lighter than it is. This condition is sometimes referred to as pallor, and it may manifest itself in people of any skin colour. Even though pallor is most often associated with the face, it may also cause the nail bed to become exceedingly light or even white. The lips, gums, and tongue may all change colour as a result of the colouring shift.

Paleness is often linked with other symptoms, such as anaemia. The degree of anaemia affects the symptoms.

Anaemia (acute)

Acute anaemia symptoms might include:

  • high heart rate
  • chest discomfort
  • hypotension (low blood pressure) or shortness of breath
  • consciousness loss
  • Anaemia that lasts a long time
  • Other than paleness, weariness, or susceptibility to colds, chronic anaemia may have no symptoms.


Shock symptoms may include:

  • clammy skin and a fast and feeble pulse
  • shallow, fast breathing
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • loss of consciousness
  • tension
  • thirstiness


Hypoglycemia symptoms may include:

  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • trouble concentrating
  • irritability
  • hunger
  • fatigue
  • sweating

A limb's arterial blockage

Localized paleness may be caused by arterial obstruction or a lack of blood circulation. This usually happens in your arms or legs. Because of the absence of circulation, your leg may feel uncomfortable and chilly.

7 Causes of pale skin

Having pale skin may be difficult since it might seem drab and unhealthy. There are many causes for your skin to become pale. These are some examples:

i) Excessive bleeding: Excessive bleeding due to menstruation or traumas lowers iron levels in the body, resulting in a pale complexion.
ii) Malnutrition and vitamin deficiency: People who are deficient in vitamins, particularly B12, may have pale skin.
iii) Breathlessness and breathing difficulties: The body does not get enough oxygen, causing the skin to appear pale.
iv) Genetic illnesses: Rare genetic abnormalities may cause prolonged paleness by affecting red blood cells. However, this is a chronic illness that does not resolve quickly.
v) Temperature: Extreme cold or frostbite might result in pale skin.
vi) Low blood pressure: A decline in blood pressure may cause the skin to become pale, as well as other symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, and exhaustion.
vii) Reduced sun exposure: The body obtains important vitamins from sunshine, and when exposure is reduced, a shortage occurs, which may result in pale skin.

Is pale skin warm or cool?

  • Cool undertones look pink/blue on light skin and might seem purple/red on medium and deep complexion tones.
  • Warm undertones show yellow on fair/light-medium complexion and peachy/golden on medium-dark/deep skin tones.
  • Neutral undertones often feature a combination of cold and warm tones, as well as olive tones.

Difference between pale and fair skin?

While fair complexion may sometimes be inherited, pale skin can also appear suddenly. While fair skin seems robust and vibrant, a pale complexion makes the skin appear quite drab.

Take Away

Pale skin may be caused by a variety of factors, including vitamin shortages and underlying medical disorders. As a result, knowing the source of your pale skin is critical for deciding the best therapy for yourself.


1. Can tension cause pale skin?

Yes. Paleness may be caused by mental disturbance, such as tension or shock, in certain circumstances.

2. Is pale skin more sensitive?

Yes. Pale skin contains less melanin than darker skin and is therefore more vulnerable to UV damage, whilst darker skin is more prone to hyperpigmentation. Because facial skin is thinner than the skin on the rest of our bodies, it is more sensitive to the environment.

3. What vitamins should I take if I'm pale?

Individuals with pale skin who burn easily are unable to produce enough vitamin D from sunshine and should take vitamin D supplements.


What Causes Paleness and How To Treat It - Healthline