Cyanosis is the characteristic blue color of the skin observed when the amount of unoxygenated hemoglobin in the blood exceeds 5 grams per 100 milliters of blood (out of anywhere from 10 to 15 grams of hemoglobin per 100 milliliters). Cyanosis may be harmless - as in acrocyanosis of newborn babies - but is usually a bad sign. Cyanosis may be caused by lung problems when not enough oxygen is getting into the bloodstream, or by circulatory problems. Circulatory problems include abnormal mixing of unoxygenated blood with oxygen carrying blood. Cyanosis is usually noted first around the lips and mouth, and perhaps in the nailbeds.

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