Jaundice is a yellow discolouration of the skin, whites of the eyes and mucous membranes. There are lots of reasons why people develop jaundice. It is quite common in newborn babies but in adults it can be an indication of more serious health problems. The yellow color of the skin and whites of the eyes caused by an excess of bilirubin in the blood. Bilirubin is produced by the normal breakdown of red blood cells.