Fatty liver disease: Do you have ‘paper money skin’? The lesser-known sign could be a clue

“Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a chronic condition caused by too much fat being stored inside the liver cells, which is not due to alcohol,” said doctor Deborah Lee from Dr Fox Online Pharmacy. While the early stages of this condition are rarely harmful, NAFLD could lead to liver failure or cancer if left untreated.

“It is important to note that the majority of people with NAFLD have no symptoms and are unaware they have it,” the doctor noted.

However, one sign that might not generally be recognised is “paper money skin”, she explained.

This sign describes tiny superficial blood vessels on your trunk and face.

These blood vessels or capillaries can be randomly scattered and needle thin.

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They resemble a fine network of red and blue silk threads embedded in the United States dollar bill.

This is the reason why the sign received the memorable name. Sometimes they are also called “dollar paper markings”.

This skin sign often points to an underlying liver condition and is considered to be a sign of cirrhosis.

In case you’re not aware, cirrhosis details the “most severe” stage of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.


Luckily, the health service notes that making lifestyle changes can help prevent NAFLD from getting worse.

Doctor Lee said: “Much can be achieved by improving lifestyle factors – eating healthily, taking regular exercise, and reducing alcohol to within recommended limits.

“The Mediterranean diet is recommended. This is a diet full of lean meat, fish, poultry, whole grains, unsaturated plant fats such as olive oil, sunflower oil, or rapeseed oil, and large quantities of fresh fruit and vegetables which are high in antioxidants.

“[Also] make sure you eat plenty of fibre.”

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