According to Healthline, pale skin can be caused by anemia or the blockage of an artery to a limb when the paleness is localized to one part of the body, such as an arm or leg. Trauma and injury are other causes of pale skin, such as a wound or blood loss from a surgery. Shock also causes pale skin.
Pale skin that arises from a medical condition causes an unusual lightness of skin color compared to what is normal for an individual. This lightness is caused by reduced blood flow or a decrease in red blood cell count, according to Healthline. In the case of shock, blood pressure is reduced to a dangerously low level, resulting in pale skin as a symptom.
With anemia, the red blood cell count is severely decreased. Anemia is either acute or chronic. Acute anemia is the result of rapid blood loss from trauma, surgery or stomach ulcers. Chronic anemia results from a lack of iron, folate or vitamin B12 in the blood. This occurs due to malnutrition, sickle cell disease, hypothyroidism and certain cancers. Pale skin can also occur from lack of sunlight, exposure to the cold and low blood sugar, notes Healthline.