Jaundice is a condition in which the skin, sclera of the eyes, and mucous membranes are yellowish coloured due to a build up of bilirubin in the body. Bilirubin is the principal pigment in bile, which is yellow in colour, and is formed from the breakdown of heme pigment in red blood cells. After bilirubin is formed, it is transported to the liver where it is processed and excreted in bile. There are three types of jaundice, prehepatic jaundice caused by excess production of bilirubin, hepatic jaundice caused by dysfunction of the liver, and extrahepatic jaundice (or obstructive jaundice) caused by blockage of bile ducts.
A definition from the Human biology dictionary written by our staff, and available through the schools bookshop.