Q: My 8-month-old’s hands and feet seem to have an orange tint to them. What is this?
A: Carotenemia. Eating lots of carrots—as well as many other carotene-rich yellow and green vegetables—can lead to this completely benign skin discoloration. In fact, having a baby with skin this color means you’re doing a good job: He’s eating a healthy diet! Many parents confuse this discoloration with jaundice, which is fairly common among newborns but can be a sign of liver malfunction, red blood cell breakdown or other illnesses at different ages. Luckily, jaundice is not very common after the newborn period. The two conditions are fairly simple to differentiate: Carotenemia is visible primarily on the soles of the feet and the palms of the hands; jaundice gives a yellow tinge to the eyeballs, face and other parts of the body. If you’re concerned, talk to your doc.