As your largest and most obvious organ, the skin often mirrors problems going on inside the body.
That’s why any new rash or skin change should be checked by your dermatologist.
Changes in the skin that could be a sign of heart problems include (Adapted from the American Academy of Dermatology website):
- Swelling and redness of your lower legs (stasis dermatitis) can mean your heart isn’t pumping as efficiently as it should.
- Blue or purple discoloration this can be localized to a single area (cyanosis) or can be more widespread in a net like patter (livedo reticularis). It might mean there’s a blockage in vessels.
- Waxy yellowish growths on your skin (xanthelasma on eyelids, xanthomas on the body) can mean your cholesterol levels are high.
- Nails curve downward with swollen fingers (clubbing) could signal a heart or lung problem.
- Red or purple lines under the nails (splinter hemorrhages) if you see these with a high fever, the worry is a heart infection called endocarditis.
- Smooth, waxy lumps on the skin (amyloidosis) this is a protein build up that affects the skin and also the heart.
- Painful lumps on the fingers and toes (Osler’s Nodes) these are also a sign of a heart infection called endocarditis.
- Dark red, painful discoloration of the palms and soles (Janeway lesions) another sign of endocarditis.
- Non-itchy rash with raised edges in a kid who’s recently had strep throat could be a sign of rheumatic fever, a condition that can permanently damage the heart.
- Rash and cracked swollen lips suspicious for Kawasaki Disease, a condition affecting kids 6 months to 5 years old that can cause heart disease.
If you are currently noticing any of the above new skin conditions, please make it a priority to book an appointment with Dr. Mikhail by calling 954-666-3736 so she can make a medical diagnosis that could possibly be lifesaving!