The buildup of bilirubin can be caused by an abnormally high level of red blood cells breaking down, gallstones, or liver disease (such as hepatitis or cirrhosis). Jaundice sometimes affects newborns ("newborn jaundice") because their livers are too immature to process the bilirubin in their bodies.
Other symptoms of jaundice may include:
- Itchy skin
- Change in urine and stool color (urine may be pale or yellow-orange, stool may be pale)
Jaundice itself is not a dangerous condition, but rather is a sign of a more serious condition or disease. Jaundice should be investigated for its underlying cause.