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    May 14, 2020

    TikTokers Are Saying If A Ring Leaves A Black Mark On Your Face, You're Anemic — So We Talked To A Doctor To Get The Truth

    According to TikTok, rings will leave a dark line if you have anemia.

    There's been a recent trend on TikTok where people are rubbing rings on their faces to see if it creates dark marks on their skin, and if it does, then they're supposedly anemic:

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    But we all know by now not to believe everything we hear on TikTok. So, to get the truth about anemia and this trend, BuzzFeed spoke to Neha Pathak M.D., who is a medical editor at WebMD.

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    Dr. Pathak explained that anemia is a name for any condition where you don't have enough healthy red blood cells. "The most common cause of anemia is iron deficiency anemia," she said. "This is where you don't have enough iron in your body to create healthy blood cells and happens in pregnant women, women with heavy menstrual periods, and people that may have a slow bleeding ulcer or other inflammation in the lining of the stomach or intestines. Other causes of anemia are vitamin deficiencies like vitamin B12, and conditions like sickle cell anemia."

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    Depending on the cause, Dr. Pathak said people can develop anemia at any age, but that it usually happens in people who are older and in pregnant women.

    So will rubbing a ring on your forehead actually tell you if you're anemic? According to Dr. Pathak, the answer is "no" — there is no evidence suggesting that your skin turning black after rubbing a ring on it is associated with anemia. Instead, makeup may be causing the discoloration of the skin. "Women who wear makeup may have color changes when they rub metallic objects against their skin because of the components in their makeup," she said.

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    So, what are the actual signs people can look out for if they're worried they might have anemia? Dr. Pathak said the most common symptoms depend on how low your blood cell count is and how quickly it dropped. "Some people don't have any symptoms at all. Some can feel tired and weak, have pale skin, and cold hands and feet. In more severe cases, people can feel short of breath, dizzy, or lightheaded and have chest pain," she explained.

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    "The treatment for anemia depends on the underlying cause. If it's from iron deficiency, doctors usually try to figure out why you are anemic and try to solve that underlying problem while providing you with iron supplements. For vitamin deficiencies, like B12 deficiency, your doctor will give you vitamin B12. In severe cases, you may need a blood transfusion," she added.

    According to Dr. Pathak, blood tests are the easiest way to diagnose most causes of anemia and the most accurate way to help direct you toward an appropriate treatment. "If you think you may have anemia, the best, easiest, and most important thing you can do is talk to your doctor," she said.

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    So, that settles that. A ring won't tell you if you have anemia, but it may leave a mark on your skin if you're wearing certain kinds of makeup! BYE!

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