Iron tablets are commonly used to treat iron deficiency and anemia, helping the body produce enough red blood cells. However, some people worry that taking iron supplements might make their skin darker. This concern raises questions about the side effects of iron tablets and whether they truly affect skin color. In this article,, we will explore whether there is any connection between iron supplementation and changes in skin pigmentation.

So, without further ado, let’s dig deeper. 

Brief Overview of Iron Tablets 

Iron tablets are dietary supplements used to treat and prevent iron deficiency anemia and other conditions associated with low levels of iron in the blood. They are available over-the-counter and by prescription, often in forms such as ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluconate, and ferrous fumarate.

Do Iron Tablets Make Your Skin Darker? 

Iron tablets are commonly used to treat iron deficiency anemia, but they do not generally cause skin darkening. Skin darkening from iron supplements is not a typical side effect. However, there are a few important considerations to keep in mind. 

i. Iron overload

Excessive iron intake, particularly in individuals with conditions like hemochromatosis, can lead to iron accumulation in the body, potentially causing skin hyperpigmentation. This is rare and usually only a concern in cases of prolonged, excessive iron supplementation or underlying genetic conditions.

ii. Side effects

Common side effects of iron supplements include gastrointestinal issues like constipation, diarrhea, nausea, and abdominal discomfort. Skin-related side effects are uncommon.

iii. Other causes

If you notice skin darkening while taking iron supplements, it may be due to other factors such as sun exposure, hormonal changes, or other medications. It’s important to consider these factors and consult a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis.

iv. Form of iron

Different forms of iron supplements (ferrous sulfate, ferrous gluconate, ferrous fumarate, etc.) may have varying side effects, but skin darkening is generally not a common concern for any of these forms.

Factors Influencing Skin Darkening from Iron Tablets

While iron is an essential nutrient for many bodily functions, including oxygen transport and red blood cell production, taking iron tablets can sometimes cause a side effect of skin darkening. This is usually a harmless condition but can be concerning nonetheless. Here’s a breakdown of the factors influencing skin darkening from iron tablets:

  • Type of Iron Supplement: There are different forms of iron in supplements, and some are more likely to cause this side effect than others. Ferrous sulfate, a common type, is more likely to cause discoloration. 
  • Dosage: The higher the dose of iron you take, the greater the chance of experiencing skin darkening. 
  • Individual Variation: Some people are simply more prone to this side effect than others. This may be due to individual differences in iron metabolism or skin sensitivity.
  • Sun Exposure: Sun exposure can worsen iron-induced skin darkening. If you are taking iron tablets, it is important to protect your skin from the sun by wearing sunscreen and covering up exposed areas.


The concern that iron tablets might cause skin darkening is largely unfounded. While iron supplements are essential for treating deficiencies and supporting overall health, there is no substantial scientific evidence to suggest that they directly lead to changes in skin pigmentation. 

Any skin darkening experienced by individuals taking iron supplements is likely due to other factors, such as underlying medical conditions or reactions to other ingredients in the supplements. Therefore, individuals prescribed iron tablets should feel confident in their treatment without undue worry about their skin color changing. Always consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice and to address any side effects experienced during treatment.