"Since I have been doing dialysis I noticed my skin has become discolored, what can I do about it?" This may be a question you have asked yourself. The simple answer is that End-Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) patients on dialysis often suffer with skin discoloration (hyperpigmentation) because toxins that would usually be discharged by healthy kidneys in urine are retained in their body.
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Uremic frost is another skin disorder that leaves a white powdery substance on your skin after sweat dries. These types of discolorations occur because dialysis is not nearly as effective as a real kidney. While your kidney works 24 hours a day, for most people dialysis only happens 2 to 6 hours every other day. This process is not enough to remove all of the toxins from your body and you may notice the effect of toxin build-up by changes in your skin tone and sometimes eyes.
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The good news is that these types of skin issues are not permanent and can be corrected or prevented by getting a better dialysis cleaning. People that get longer or more frequent dialysis have little or no skin discoloration and look healthier with much clearer and whiter eyes. If you have observed that your complexion has changed then KidneyBuzz.com encourages you to discuss the matter with your Nephrologist and Nurse. Ask them what your labs show about your dialysis adequacy and methods of improving your cleaning. If you find that your skin discoloration is not due to your dialysis inadequacy, then you should ask your Nephrologist before trying any over- the-counter product, and keep her/him informed about the condition of your skin in case adjustments need to be made in your treatment plan or prescription medicine.
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