Pallor (also called pastiness or wanness) is a reduced amount of oxyhemoglobin in skin or mucous membrane, a pale color which can be caused by illness, emotional shock or stress, avoiding excessive exposure to sunlight, anaemia or genetics. It is more evident on the face and palms. It can develop suddenly or gradually, depending on the cause.
Pallor is not usually clinically significant unless it is accompanied by a general pallor (pale lips, tongue, palms, mouth and other regions with mucous membranes). It is distinguished from similar symptoms such as hypopigmentation (loss of skin pigment).
Pale skin is also a very light skin tone most commonly associated with people of European descent, particularly people of Celtic and Scandinavian descent. In addition, people who avoid sun exposure and thus avoid sun tanning also tend to have paler complexions in comparison to their peers, particularly during summer.