Jaundice is a yellow coloring of the skin and the whites of the eyes. It is not a disease in itself, but a symptom which may occur in several diseases. It appears when an excessive amount of the yellow-green pigment bilirubin is present in the blood. Inevitably some of the pigment escapes from the blood into the skin, where it causes the characteristic yellow appearance. In some cases of jaundice it is possible to observe yellow coloration of the eyes in the early stages of the illness, before the color appears in the skin.
Jaundice is classified into three types:
Breast-milk jaundice is a prolonged jaundice lasting several weeks after birth in breast-fed babies for which no other cause can be found. It improves with time and is not an indication to stop breast-feeding.