Hepatitis is a medical condition defined by the inflammation of the liver and characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. Hepatitis may occur with limited or no symptoms, but often leads to yellow discoloration of the skin, mucus membranes, and conjunctivae, poor appetite and malaise. Hepatitis is acute when it lasts less than six months and chronic when it persists longer. The condition can be self-limiting (healing on its own) or can progress to fibrosis (scarring) and cirrhosis.
Worldwide, sexually transmitted hepatitis viruses are the most common cause of the condition.Other causes include autoimmune diseases and ingestion of toxic substances (notably alcohol, certain medications (such as paracetamol), some industrial organic solvents, and plants).