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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Jaundice, phototherapy, darker skin tone, cholestatic jaundice

our new born baby was pink-white at birth and first 3 days. She developed jaundice and had two rounds of phototherapy . After jaundice cleared, she started developing a darker skin tone starting with face and then body. Can this be due to phototherapy?. She does not have chloestatic jaundice. Is the myth about predicting final skin tone based on the top of the ear colour true?
Sat, 3 Aug 2013
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Pathologist and Microbiologist 's  Response
Neonatal jaundice is a common finding in newborns and phototherapy is the correct mode of management. However your suspicion of you child developing a dark skin tone due to phototherapy is not possible. Usually, when infants with yellow skin tinge due neonatal jaundice are subjected to phototherapy, there will be a change of skin tone from yellow colour to bleach like colour due to change of accumulated bilirubin into lesser metabolites and this is entirely normal. But phototherapy as such does not make a child look darker.
The myth that you have mentioned may not be true as there are no accurate studies to back up such claims.
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