Blanching Skin – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

blanching skin
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Often times, we witness the sudden paleness in our skin tone in comparison to the rest of our body. Are you someone who has noticed that too? Has it happened to you that when you put pressure on a part of your skin, it turned white and either gradually regained the colour or stayed white throughout? If you are witnessing something like this, chances are you are experiencing Blanching Skin.

Because of the lack of studies or even the accuracy to the available symptoms at hand, it becomes quite tough to actually detect the induction of this problem and people often time forego this as nothing serious and something that’s affecting your momentarily.

In this article, we are going to shed some light on everything that one needs to know about blanching skin, right from the common causes to the symptoms and diagnosis of the disease.

What is Blanching Skin?

What is Blanching Skin

Blanching Skin is a condition characterized by the visible whitening or fading of the part of the skin with application of pressure. While the array of causes can range from trivial to severe, it is believed that the condition is primarily visible in medical emergencies or can be caused because of temporary reasons.

In terms of etymology, the word “Blanching” come from the French word “Blanc” which means white. This is why the condition is characterized when the skin starts to become white, sometimes with pressure or sometimes just as it is.

According to medical terms, it is believed that blanching skin is primarily caused because of the temporary resistance to the blood circulation of the body. If you want to visibly see the starking difference, all you need to do is press gently on the skin and it will turn white and then gradually go back to the normal colour of the skin.

While this condition is not given that much importance, it is necessary to understand for a fact that taking the condition for granted and not paying much heed to it can actually result in something worse in the long term. Even then, the signs and symptoms can definitely be pretty adverse and result in permanent blanching of the skin.


Check Out the Most Popular Insight Into Blanching Skin

Causes of Blanching Skin

Causes of Blanching Skin

As weird as it sounds, it is our blood which helps stain our skin and makes it look skin like, apart from pigments and hormones. So, when there is restricted flow of blood to a certain part of the body, you are bound to witness blanching skin in that specific area.

Now, when it comes to the common causes of blanching skin, it is important to understand that the same can range from trivial to severe and depending on the same, the kind of treatment needs to be administered.

To make it easier for you to understand, I have segregated the list of causes into three different categories, ranging from medical emergencies to temporary inconvenience to skin issues.

Now, let us start off the list of causes with the most severe reasons and the one that could impose potent life threatening impacts on one’s life. These are the ones that need immediate medical attention and need to be sorted out before the problems get worse and have irreversible impacts on the body.

Some of the impactful temporary inconveniences as skin blanching causes include:

  • Significant amount of blood loss because of injury or even an accident
  • Severe physical trauma that could lead to excessive blood loss or blood clots in the body
  • Third degree burns in the body
  • Clinical dehydration often cause restrictions to the blood flow in the body
  • Any form of severe infection in the body that has been left to fend for itself
  • Allergic reaction to any kind of allergen

Some of the impactful medical emergencies as skin blanching causes include:

  • Shock is one of the primary medical emergencies that results in blanching skin. While the same can actually root because of a number of reasons, it is very important to be proactive when providing with first aid for shock treatment.
  • Apart from the first sight of shock as one of the causes of blanching skin, some of the other accessory symptoms of shock that one need to look out for to effectively administer the correct treatment are altered breathing, loss of consciousness, mental confusion, nausea and vomiting, lack of urination and cool and clammy skin.

Some of the impactful medical emergencies as skin blanching causes include:

  • Burned skin ends up causing loss of pigmentation in the area which is what causes blanching of the skin
  • Dermatitis end up causing partial redness of the skin in certain areas while the rest appears paler in comparison
  • Frostbite occurs upon prolonged exposure to cold and ice and the same causes the freezing of the skin tissues which in turn affects the blood circulation of the body
  • Tinea versicolor is a form of fungal infection which also contributes to the causes of blanching skin
  • Vitiligo is the skin disease which is characterized by the formation of white patches all over the skin due to impairments in the skin pigmentation

Apart from all of these causes of blanching skin, the one that often stands out from the rest is Anemia. The consistent whitening and paling of the skin could be an indicative of anemia or the loss of healthy red blood cells in the body. This condition requires immediate care and medical attention.

Symptoms of Blanching Skin

Symptoms of Blanching Skin

As true to the literal meaning of this condition, blanching skin is characterized primarily by the vivid presence of whitening of the skin in certain parts of the body and not uniformly.

It is often very tough to categorise skin blanching from other forms of diseases because of how hard it is to detect this problem. In order to help guide you, we have accumulated all the important symptoms concerning the blanching of skin and presented it in this specific section.

The common signs and symptoms of blanching skin include:

  • Fading of the skin colour
  • Paler skin complexion in certain specific parts of the body
  • Whitening of the skin when pressure is applied on a certain part of the body
  • Feeling of coolness of the skin in the area where the blanching has occurred
  • Pale and whitish appearance of the skin, resulting in uneven skin tone

How to Check for Skin Blanching?

How to Check for Skin Blanching

As mentioned before, blanching skin can be caused by a number of reasons, medical emergencies, diseases or even temporary impairments. Whatever the cause be, it is better to understand for a fact that the problem associated with blanching skin can actually be tested out via a test.

The process of diagnosis is dependent on the cause. There are two variants – one which is caused by obstruction to the blood circulation and lack of oxygen in the body and the other one is due to the several diseases that could be a contributing factor to the whitening of the skin.

Blanch Test

This test is primarily conducted in order to diagnose the blanching of the skin which can be caused either by the obstruction to the normal blood flow (R) of the body or because of the lack of proper oxygenation of the blood.

  • In this specific test, the physician simply just presses and puts pressure on either the toenail or any of the fingernails in the hand till it turns white completely. If the circulation of the blood in the body is normal and not hampered, the colour should be regained instantaneously once the fingernail is released. If the same takes more than 2 seconds, it could be because of obstructed circulation or even hypothermia.

Standard Blood Test

The second kind of test that is conducted to determine the treatment for skin blanching is a standard blood test.

  • In this test, the blood sample is extracted and then diagnosed to find if the possible cause for the skin blanching is because of Anemia, Raynaud’s disease or shock.

Treatment for Blanching Skin

Treatment for Blanching Skin

Now, for the penultimate topic of discussion concerning the blanching skin, let us discuss about the treatment process in the entirety of it.

Even the process of treatment for skin blanching is dependent on the cause behind the problem. It could range from the common skin diseases to severe medical conditions. In this section, we are going to be discussing about the common in-office treatments along with the home care that one can opt for to get relieve the conditions associated with blanching of the skin.

In-Office Treatments

These are the kind of treatments for blanching skin (R) that are administered when the underlying cause is primarily something along the line of anemia or any other form of disease affecting the body, as a side effect of which one experiences the blanching.

For treating conditions like anemia, the doctors often prescribe certain fluids and medications for its gradual cure.

Home Care

Apart from the common terms of finding out what the cause of the blanching skin is and then administering the treatments, it is also important to be aware of certain home care remedies that will help prevent the possibility of blanching in the first place.

Some of the common home care remedies include:

  • Make sure that you are washing your skin on regular intervals and using soap and moisturizer to keep the skin fresh and well moisturized. Often times, the lack of proper hygiene in this aspect ends up being the primary reason behind the cause of infection which is one of the common skin blanching causes. So, make sure that you are keeping your skin clean and moisturized.
  • Refrain from extended exposure to cold and frost because the same can often result in freezing of the skin tissues that inadvertently end up restricting the flow of blood to the other parts of the body and cause blanching of the skin.
  • Patients who are bed bound should be constantly moved and turned to ensure that they are not lying on a specific pressure point. The same can inadvertently end up causing wounds like that of decubitus ulcers.

When To See A Doctor for Skin Blanching?

See A Doctor for Skin Blanching

Skin blanching should not be taken lightly. While the primary signs and symptoms associated with it might not seem like a lot, if you are experiencing some accessory symptoms along with skin blanching, it is time to pay the doctor a quick visit to get everything checked out.

Some of the common accessory symptoms along with blanching that one need to look out for include:

  • Shortness of breath or a choking feeling
  • Skin burns that are very severe and are exposed around a large area of the body
  • Weakened pulse rate
  • Loss of consciousness or feeling of constant dizziness
  • Paleness in the appearance of the skin
  • Nausea and vomiting (along with blood discharge)
  • Cold feeling in the hands and feet

Blanching Skin is a very common problem that we witness often times but fail to recognize it. I definitely hope this article was a definitive guide to everything that one needs to know with respect to skin blanching and the causes, symptoms, diagnosis as well as possible treatments involved in it.