Better Health Channel
  • Jaundice shows up in babies as a yellowish tinge to the skin and eyes.
  • Jaundice is very common in newborn babies – about six out of 10 newborns have jaundice to varying degrees.
  • Jaundice is caused by an excess of a chemical called bilirubin.
  • Most jaundice is ‘physiological jaundice.
  • Physiological jaundice will resolve by itself once the baby's liver is functioning at full speed.
  • In babies where jaundice levels are very high in the days after birth, treatment using blue lights (phototherapy) may be required.
  • Other less common causes of jaundice include blood group differences between mother and baby, haemolytic anaemia, hepatitis and galactosaemia.

Give feedback about this page

More information

Content disclaimer

Content on this website is provided for information purposes only. Information about a therapy, service, product or treatment does not in any way endorse or support such therapy, service, product or treatment and is not intended to replace advice from your doctor or other registered health professional. The information and materials contained on this website are not intended to constitute a comprehensive guide concerning all aspects of the therapy, product or treatment described on the website. All users are urged to always seek advice from a registered health care professional for diagnosis and answers to their medical questions and to ascertain whether the particular therapy, service, product or treatment described on the website is suitable in their circumstances. The State of Victoria and the Department of Health shall not bear any liability for reliance by any user on the materials contained on this website.

Reviewed on: 21-07-2019