ACCESS Nursing News and Blog

Skin Changes Can Signal a Serious Health Problem


Health experts often refer to your skin as a “window” to what may be going on inside your body.  In fact, some changes to the skin can point to more serious health problems.

According to Louise Weadock, MPH, RN,  founder and CEO of ACCESS Nursing Services: “Changes to the skin can be one of the first signs of a dangerous condition.”

She explains that the three key “skin signs” to look for is skin color, temperature, and moisture – specifically: 

  • Purple or bluish skin indicates a problem with oxygen. 
  • Pale skin is a sign of dehydration or shock. 
  • Flushed skin indicates too much blood flow to the surface of the skin and indicates high blood pressure, heat illness or fever. 
  • Be aware of wet skin, when it's dripping or feels wet to the touch; or overly dry skin, especially when it's scaly.
  • Hot skin is like flushed skin and is an indicator of heavy blood flow to the surface. In some cases, it can indicate a fever or a heat illness. Cool skin indicates poor circulation and may signal a significant problem, especially if the patient is struggling to breath, is unconscious or appears fatigued.

Weadock added that along with the three skin signs, it’s also imperative that you “see your doctor as soon as possible if you notice an unusual rash or if your rash is not responding to a prescribed treatment or if accompanied by fever or muscle pain.” 

For more information about nursing services, contact ACCESS Nursing Services is the leading regional provider of healthcare personnel to individual patients and prestigious healthcare systems throughout New York, and New Jersey, including five city-center offices and seven hospital-based offices employing more than 2,000 caregivers.

Topics: Blog, Homecare