Kidney Failure & Your Skin

Kidneydisease, Kidneyfailure, Kidneyhealth -

Kidney Failure & Your Skin

The major function of the kidney is to filter the waste from the blood, produce hormones, and balance the minerals present in the blood. This cleansing of blood is essential for the health & wellbeing of the human skin and our body’s homeostasis. When the kidneys stop functioning properly, this can affect the heart and many of our other bodily functions.

In the case of improper functioning of kidneys, the waste products move through the bloodstream and continually damage the body & skin. The residual toxins remaining in the blood due to improper functioning of kidneys leads to a wide range of skin problems. If you have kidney failure or are in the early stages, you’ve experienced some of the issues we’ll be discussing.

Severe Form of Itching

The itching is the most prominent & severe of these skin issues associated with the kidney failure. The back, chest, head, and the limbs are majorly affected by itching and this continually getsworse due to the inability of the kidney to filter the blood & remove the toxins & waste products.

The majority of skin problems are associated with the imbalance of minerals such as Calcium & Phosphorous. This imbalance triggers a chemical reaction in the human body which in turn cause severe itching. The accumulation of Phosphorous in blood is also a major cause of skin itching & lowering the level of such minerals in blood is essential for maintaining the healthiness of skin.

Even the dialysis treatment whose purpose is to conduct the basic functions of the kidney which is cleansing the blood quite often triggers severe itching in patients. Another reason which contributes to the deteriorating of skin’s health is allergy associated with dialysis treatment & dialyzer. These allergies worsen the itching of skin and require timely preventive measures & treatment. The antihistamines usually work in reducing the adverse effects of kidney failure on the human skin.

Skin Dryness

The second most prominent skin concern associated with kidney failure is a condition called xerosis or in simple words, “Dry Skin”. The improper functioning of the kidney & its failure adversely influences the sweat & oil glands which results in extreme dryness of skin. It’s essential to moisturize and choose options that won’t dry the skin.

Many skincare options contain ingredients that dry the skin. Always read ingredients before buying skincare, home & haircare options. If any of the ingredients are toxic or drying, don’t buy that product.

The skin dryness is mere an independent concern and there are many serious skin conditions associated with the dryness of skin. Dry skin is a hunting ground for bacteria & viruses and may lead to severe skin infections. This also slows down the healing ability & adversely affect the immune system of the human body. 


Hyperpigmentation & discoloration are also two of the most common adverse effects of kidney failure. The skin color of the patients suffering from chronic kidney disease or kidney failure tends to transform into a metallic grey color.


  • Tamika James

    Hi Claire! I have had two fistula surgeries. The first surgery wasn’t successful. I never felt the “thrill”. Let your dad know he can set up a free coaching session with me if he has any questions! 💚

  • Claire Saul

    My dad is stage 4/stage 5 kidney failure and soon to have a fistula formation for dialysis. His skin often takes on a distinct grey tinge which I didn’t, but should have realised is another symptom of his CKD!! Useful post

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