woman with dark skin and hair
Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
April 22, 2024 ·  4 min read

Signs of Fatty Liver Disease That Show Up in Your Face

Fatty liver disease is a condition characterized by the excessive build-up of fat in the liver cells. It is a growing health concern that affects millions of people worldwide. While the disease often goes unnoticed in its early stages, certain signs and symptoms can manifest on your face, providing early indications of this condition. Let’s look at these signs and what they may signify.

What is Fatty Liver Disease and What Causes It?

Fatty liver disease, also known as hepatic steatosis, occurs when excess fat accumulates in the liver. The most common types of fatty liver disease are alcoholic liver disease and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Alcohol consumption in excess is a leading cause of alcoholic liver disease, whereas NAFLD is commonly associated with obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, and metabolic syndrome. (1)

Signs That Show Up on Your Face

While there are many different signs and symptoms of fatty liver disease, there are specific ones that manifest themselves on your face. That’s right: In your eyes, in your skin, and more. If you notice these, it could be time to talk to your doctor. These are the signs of NAFLD that show up on your face. (2)

1. Yellowish Skin Tone

One of the primary signs that may indicate fatty liver disease is a yellowish hue to the skin, a condition known as jaundice. The yellow discoloration occurs when the liver is unable to effectively eliminate bilirubin, a yellow pigment produced during the breakdown of red blood cells. This yellow pigment can also be seen in the whites of your eyes.

2. Darkening Skin in Creases of the Neck

Also known as Acanthosis nigricans, this is usually caused by insulin resistance, and is a symptoms of diabetes. This occurs when the liver is not using insulin effectively. This doesn’t have to be exclusive to the neck, it can also appear in other areas such as the armpits and the groin. It is best described as dark, velvety patches of skin with loosely defined borders.

3. Spider Angiomas

Spider angiomas, or spider nevi, are tiny, dilated blood vessels that appear on the skin’s surface. These red, spider-like marks can develop on the face due to the increased estrogen levels often associated with liver damage resulting from fatty liver disease.

Read More: B vitamins could help treat severe nonalcoholic fatty liver disease

4. Facial Swelling

In advanced stages of fatty liver disease, facial swelling, also known as hepatofacial syndrome, may occur. This swelling is a result of fluid retention and can lead to a puffy, bloated appearance. (3)

5. Acne or Skin Breakouts

Liver health plays a significant role in maintaining clear skin. When the liver is compromised, toxins and waste substances may build up in the body, leading to skin conditions such as acne, rosacea, or dermatitis.

6. Dark Eye Circles

Dark circles under the eyes can be an indication of various health problems, including fatty liver disease. These circles are often caused by impaired liver function, resulting in a buildup of toxins in the body.

Each of these signs and symptoms should not be considered definitive evidence of fatty liver disease on their own. However, if you notice multiple signs mentioned above, it is essential to consult a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and further evaluation.

What to Do If You Think You May Have Fatty Liver Disease

If you suspect that you may have fatty liver disease based on the signs manifesting on your face or other symptoms, it is crucial to seek medical advice. A healthcare professional will assess your medical history, conduct physical examinations, and order appropriate tests to confirm or rule out the presence of fatty liver disease.

In addition to medical intervention, certain lifestyle changes can help improve liver health and manage fatty liver disease. These may include:

  • Adopting a healthy diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins while limiting saturated fats, trans fats, and processed foods.
  • Engaging in regular exercise to promote weight loss, reduce fat accumulation, and improve overall health.
  • Moderating or abstaining from alcohol consumption to prevent further liver damage.
  • Monitoring and managing underlying conditions such as diabetes, high cholesterol, and obesity.

The Bottom Line

Fatty liver disease is a serious health condition that can have long-term implications for your liver’s function and overall well-being. By paying attention to the signs that may show up on your face, you can identify potential symptoms early on and seek appropriate medical attention. Remember, early detection and prompt management are key to preventing further liver damage and improving your overall health.

Read More: Woman Clears Psoriasis Covering 90% Of Body After Claiming She “Discovered Root Cause”

Sources

  1. Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease.” Hopkins
  2. Can fatty liver cause symptoms on the face?” Medical News Today. Mia Blake. July 12, 2023.
  3. Extra-Hepatic Manifestations of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Review.” Science Direct. Raseen Tariq , Page Axley and Ashwani K. Singal. January–February 2020.

    Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.