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Minerals That Cause Eye & Skin Discoloration

Minerals That Cause Eye & Skin Discoloration Minerals That Cause Eye & Skin Discoloration

Discoloration of the eyes or skin can be caused by a range of medical conditions, including Raynaud's syndrome, blood poisoning or oxygen starvation. Liver failure causes the skin and eyes to appear yellow; failure of multiple organs can lead to a green discoloration of the skin. In addition, certain minerals and chemicals in foods, topical ointments and medications can cause discoloration of the skin or eyes. Any persistent and unusual discoloration should be assessed by a medical professional.


Iodine is a mineral used in disinfectant solutions and may be applied topically to wounds to prevent infection. A study conducted in 2003 by Japanese scientists and reported in the Japanese Journal of Pressure Ulcers found that iodine applied externally in a topical ointment caused dark yellow discoloration of the skin.


Pyridium, also known as phenazopyridine hydrochloride is a common analgesic ingredient in medications. It is used to reduce pain associated with urinary tract infections, and is also prescribed following surgery or trauma. When taken orally or intravenously, pyridium causes discoloration of bodily fluids, turning the urine dark orange or red in color. Pyridium in the system can also turn the liquid in your eyes orange or red, which makes the whites of the eyes appear yellow, orange or red in color. A 2006 study regarding the side effects of pyridium that was published in the Southern Medical Journal found that yellow, orange or red discoloration of the skin and eyes could be caused by taking pyridium as an analgesic.

Mercurous Chloride

Mercurous chloride, which is also known as mercury chloride or the mineral calomel, has the chemical formula Hg2Cl2. This mineral can have a whitening effect upon the skin, and therefore has historically been used as an ingredient in commercial skin whiteners. The use of mercury compounds in skin whitening products was banned in the U.S. in 1990 due to concerns about toxicity and long-term effects. Although mercurous chloride acts to lighten the skin in the short term, over time it can actually have the opposite effect and cause dark discoloration of the skin.

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