If the whites of your eyes are completely yellow, this could mean liver issues, which means a trip to your GP. “If there are just splotches of yellow, or yellowy-white bumps on the eyelids, this could indicate a high cholesterol level. You might need a blood test to make sure yours is at a safe level,” says naturopath Robyn Spillane. Twitchy eyes means you could be lacking magnesium in your diet, while dark circles can indicate stomach trouble, she adds. “Excessive mucus might mean you’re eating too much dairy. See a naturopath, who can prescribe treatment options.”
RELATED: 5 Way Fix: Bloating
Sticking your tongue out might not be very polite, but it’s worth having a look. While white patches can be caused by medications you’re taking, or oral thrush, which can be easily treated, they can also indicate precancerous lesions, especially in smokers. Sore, red patches on your tongue can be a sign of pellagra, a vitamin B3 deficiency caused by poor diet and excessive drinking. Stock up on green vegetables, meat, fish and eggs, and cut out the booze. Persistent mouth ulcers can be caused by stress, especially in younger people. They’re not dangerous and you can treat them yourself by washing out your mouth with salt water or a mouthwash that doesn’t contain alcohol.
Thinning eyebrows, especially towards the edges of the face rather than the middle, can be a sign of an underactive thyroid. Your doctor can diagnose you via a simple blood test, and medications are available to treat it. Stock up on animal foods like meat, milk, cheese and eggs, and see your dermatologist or GP if you’re concerned about other conditions.
If you’re missing eyelashes, it might be time for a check-up. “I’ve seen a lot of younger patients with missing eyelashes, especially on their lower lids, that has led to a diagnosis of skin cancer,” explains dermatologist Dr Eleni Yiasemides. “The hair can’t grow where the cancer is. Make sure you check it out.”
Dry, itchy skin can be a sign of a skin complaint, such as eczema or rosacea. But it can also mean you’re lacking in iron or have a thyroid deficiency. If a low iron level is down to diet, a supplement can help, but if symptoms persist, consult your GP. “If you’re losing iron due to excessive bleeding during your period or internal bleeding, this could indicate something like bowel disease or a peptic ulcer that needs urgent treatment,” warns Dr Yiasemides.
RELATED: Women In Top Jobs Drink Twice As Much
If your lips are constantly dry, cracked and sore and you’re a smoker, stop smoking! Or you could be suffering from dehydration, so ensure you’re getting enough fluids every day. “Cracks, especially in the corners of the mouth, can indicate a candida infection, which can be an early indicator of diabetes,” reveals Dr Yiasemides. You could also be doing the damage yourself by biting or licking your lips. Invest in a medicated lip balm with sun protection to keep your lips moisturised and prevent UV damage.