Icterus (also known as Jaundice) is a yellowish discoloration of the skin. Typically, icterus results from unusually high levels of bilirubin (3 times the usual amount) in the body that can not be properly excreted.
The liver typically helps the body get rid of bilirubin when you excrete poop. Excess bilirubin can create yellow skin called icterus because there are too many red blood cells that are not excreted and the liver is overloaded or damaged. Sometimes, urine appears red because the liver does not excrete bilirubin and the bilirubin is excreted in urine instead of poop.
Infant icterus (jaundice) can occur because the baby's blood contains excess bilirubin, often because the baby's liver isn't mature enough to get rid of bilirubin in the bloodstream.
Other causes of child icterus include Biliary atresia and certain birth defects like Gilbert syndrome, Dubin-Johnson syndrome, Rotor syndrome, and Crigler-Najjar disease.
Adult icterus is a result of
On one hand, the diagnosis is simple, and on the other hand it is not trivial at all. To determine that there is a yellowing of the skin or the whites of the eyes takes just a simple look at a person with this problem. On the other hand, just seeing yellow skin isn't enough. Blood or other lab tests need to be performed in order to determine that there is indeed excess Bilirubin in the blood. Additionally, the proportion is excess Bilirubin is also important to know to determine just how much out of the ordinary its levels are. That would be one way to determine the severity of the problem.
Not everyone has access to healthcare and doctors for various reasons. If you are able to to get access to healthcare, and you are seeing a yellowing of your skin, do not wait to appointment with a doctor. This is a pretty severe symptom that needs to be diagnosed and have treatment steps taken right away.