Why Cystic Fibrosis Makes The Skin Salty?

Cystic fibrosis disease hampers the sweat gland which makes the skin super salty. This is a hereditary condition which can't be cured.

Chanchal Sengar
Written by: Chanchal SengarPublished at: Dec 16, 2015Updated at: Jan 03, 2020
Why Cystic Fibrosis Makes The Skin Salty?

Have you ever come across cystic fibrosis on the internet? Well, if you are hearing it for the first time in your life, you obviously do not know that it can make skin taste super salty. Cystic Fibrosis is a genetic disease that affects the sweat glands. It changes how your body makes mucus and sweat, causing damage to the lungs, digestive system and functioning of some other body parts.

The condition causes changes in the mucus, sweat and digestive juices by affecting cells that produce them. The nature of such fluids is normally thin and slippery, but people with cystic fibrosis have a gene that turns these secretions into a thick and sticky one. As a result, these thick and sticky secretions clog the tubes, ducts and other passageways in the lungs and pancreases.


Signs and symptoms of cystic fibrosis depend on the severity of the disease and may worsen or improve with time. Some people may not experience symptoms until adolescence or adulthood. The following are the common symptoms of the condition.

  • A person with cystic fibrosis will have a higher than normal level of salt in his sweat.
  • The skin is so salty that parents can taste salty when they kiss their children.
  • Cystic fibrosis mostly affects the respiratory system or the digestive system.
  • Adults with cystic fibrosis are more likely to have atypical symptoms, such as pancreatitis, diabetes and infertility.
sweaty arms

The condition may also cause respiratory symptoms including:

  • Wheezing
  • Breathlessness
  • Constipation
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Frequent lung infection
  • A constant cough that produces thick sputum
  • Stuffy nose
  • Foul-smelling greasy stool

Few Quick facts on Cystic Fibrosis

Here are some fast facts about this serious lung disease:

  • This disease badly affects the digestive system and lungs. This may cause severe lung and respiratory ailments.
  • In Cystic fibrosis (CF), the mucus produced is stickier and thicker than usual.
  • Cystic fibrosis can be hereditary too. If both the parents have a history of CF defected genes, the child would also get this disease.
  • This condition can’t be completely cured but it is possible to thin the mucus along with improving its salivation with good nutrition. A patient must eat a healthy diet to prevent this disease from worsening.
  • In the United States of America, all newborns are tested for cystic fibrosis.
cystic fibrosis treatment

Foods To Eat When You Have Cystic Fibrosis

The diet for cystic fibrosis should be rich in vitamins, minerals and iron. Here is the list of foods that one should eat in this condition:

  • Dark chocolate
  • Olive Oil
  • Dairy products
  • Nuts
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Fruits- Blueberries, strawberries, mangoes, oranges, bananas, apricots, peaches, etc.
  • Vegetables- Spinach, Kale, Broccoli, Mustard Greens, Brussels apricots, Arugula, Bok Choy, etc.

Read More articles in Other Diseases section.