Subtle Signs of Eating Disorders

Worried your loved one may be at risk for anorexia or bulimia? These warning signs can help you spot a problem.
dry-skin

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Dry skin

Dry and blotchy skin, stemming from dehydration, sometimes signals ongoing anorexia or bulimia. "Frequent purging and laxatives can seriously dehydrate you," Bulik says.

Dry skin isn't the only mark of dehydration in people with eating disorders. Dry mouth, sunken cheeks and eyes, and severe electrolyte imbalances also can occur.

Another skin change that's a telltale sign of bulimia, specifically, is the appearance of calluses on the knuckles. Know as Russell's sign (after the psychiatrist who first described it), these lesions are caused by repeatedly scraping the back of the hand against one's teeth while inducing vomiting.

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