Photo of baby with orange nose carotenoma

Carotenemia- Why Babies Turn Orange (Photos)

Image: keeleymorris on Twitter

Your Baby Is Turning Orange- But It’s Okay!

Many parents turn to gaze adoringly upon their babies and realize with some shock that “My baby’s nose is Orange.” or “Why are the palms of my baby’s hands orange?” Your baby may be turning orange due to Carotenemia.

Don’t worry though, the definition sounds more scary than it really is; it is not life threatening.

What is carotenemia and is it dangerous for babies?

Carotenemia is a medical term for a condition that causes the skin to turn orange-ish due to increased blood carotene levels. In the vast majority of cases seen, it is associated with large consumption of carotene in the diet; as in too many carrots or sweet potatoes. Parents who feed their infants a lot of orange fruits and vegetables may one day notice that their infant’s palms, soles of the feet and even face have taken on an orange hue. On the one hand, this is great news as your little one is definitely receiving all the Vitamin A she needs! Natural Vitamin A, such as that which beta-carotene converts to, is harmless and is indeed very beneficial for promoting good vision and eye development as well as helping sustain healthy growth and development.

Don’t be too alarmed and don’t worry that your baby may at risk of Vitamin A overdose. Vitamin A may be dangerous and even lethal when too much of it is taken in the form of a vitamin supplement.

Unless your baby is sickly, her color is more yellow than orange color and the whites of your baby’s eyes are also yellow tinged, your baby probably has carotenemia and not jaundice.

What foods will cause baby to turn orange?

Orange foods, such as sweet potatoes, winter squash, pumpkin and carrots, contain high levels of beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is a carotenoid.

“Carotenoids are dark colored dyes found in plant foods that can turn into a form of vitamin A. As mentioned, one of the carotenoids is beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant.” NIH, Medline Plus. The more deep the color of the orange veggie or fruit, the higher the amount of beta-carotene.

Dark green vegetables are also high in beta-carotene.

hint Did you know that a mother’s breast milk may also become a yellow or orange color? Mother’s milk is full of carotene and if Mom’s diet is high in beta-carotene rich foods, her milk may take on a color change. Carotenemia, the Breastfed Toddler & Mother’s Milk

As always, we recommend you contact your pediatrician with any medical concerns your baby may be experiencing; generalities may not apply to your baby’s particular situation.

stop3 Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.

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When you cut down on the amount of orange veggies served to your baby, your baby’ skin will be back to normal within a few days!