Chances are, you’re having some irritation, pain or redness on your face if you've made your way to this blog.
We’ve pretty much all been there at one point or another.
Flushing can happen when we’re embarrassed, anxious, or too hot for example. That’s totally normal. But if this is happening a lot and/or is painful, there could be an underlying medical issue there.
If that’s the case, there are a number of things that could be causing this.
If you think the condition is medical, it’s always best to check in with your doctor.
Common causes of facial redness
Dermatitis is a general term for inflammation of the skin. Dermatitis can cause skin to look dry, swollen and discoloured. There are different forms and it’s not contagious.
Some people can have long-lasting symptoms while others flare up from time to time. Some of the common dermatitis types that affect the face:
- Contact dermatitis: this is often the result of coming into contact with an allergen or irritant. This shows itself in rashes that burn, sting or itch.
- Seborrheic dermatitis: is common in both babies and adults, sometimes being nicknamed “cradle cap”. It’s found mostly on the scalp but also on the face, ears and chest. There’s no cure for this but it can be managed and treated well.
- Atopic dermatitis: is also known as eczema. This can run in families and is a long-term condition. Like seborrheic dermatitis, there is no cure. It comes and goes in cycles and flare-ups.
Rosacea is a common condition that affects the skin by causing redness, visible blood vessels, and/or acne-like bumps. It mainly affects the face, particularly the cheeks and nose and can come and go.
There are two main subtypes of rosacea, ETR rosacea and acne rosacea.
Rosacea is a long-term condition that can affect anyone. It’s more common in women but tends to be more severe in men.
Fair-skinned people are more likely to get rosacea and it’s seen more over 30s.
Genetics can also have a part to play in whether or not you will develop rosacea. Known as the curse of the Celts, it mostly affects people of northern or eastern European descent.
There is currently no known cure, but there are effective ways to manage the symptoms.
Acne is mostly linked to changes in hormone levels during puberty but can start at any age. It can also be caused by genetics, pregnancy, hormonal changes, or the menstrual cycle. Spots, oily skin and hot or painful skin are the results of an acne breakout. Generally, breakouts happen on the face, chest, or back and can come in the form of; blackheads, whiteheads, pimples, pustules, papules, nodules, or cysts.
Often, it can be hard to tell the difference between acne and acne rosacea by yourself so do get a doctor's opinion. Treatments for rosacea won’t work on acne and vice versa. Neither are curable but both can be effectively managed.
Psoriasis is a condition that causes skin cells to develop quickly. The result is thick and scaly red patches that are itchy and uncomfortable. While it’s most common on the knees, back, elbows, and trunk, sometimes symptoms also develop on the face too.
There are a few different types of psoriasis so it’s worth looking into further if you think this could be the cause of your redness. Psoriasis on the face usually comes with psoriasis on the scalp. The chances are that you’ll find dandruff-like flakes in your hair.
If present on the face it will usually be around your eyebrows, hairline, forehead or the skin between the nose and lips. The exact cause of psoriasis isn’t known, but some scientists think it’s a result of inflammation. It can also be linked to genetics, stress or injuries.
Hot flashes and flushing are pretty common symptoms as you can see reading this. There can be many causes for this, but menopause is actually one of the most common. If you’re a middle-aged woman you’ll not be surprised to hear that hot flashes happen in about 75% of menopausal women. This is usually felt in a rising flushing sensation from the chest to the face.
During a “hot flash” the blood vessels in your skin suddenly widen, causing redness and a hot or burning sensation. The body drops its temperature quickly in response, narrowing the vessels and letting the heat out. This explains why women often sweat and then shiver soon after during the hot flash. Menopause of course can’t be cured, but much like other conditions you can treat and manage these symptoms. Usually, estrogen therapy is a good option.
Other potential causes
There are of course other reasons behind why your skin is acting up. Some of them are unlikely but your doctor will be able to rule them out for you. Some of the other possible reasons for unexplained redness include:
- Side effects from medications
- Endocrine disorders, for example, Cushing syndrome
- Mast cell activation syndrome
- Scarlet fever
- Some forms of cancer
Sadly we don’t have the time to go into every possible cause of redness or pain on the face in this blog. We’ve touched on the most common at least. As I mentioned before, any unusual changes in the skin should be looked into with your dermatologist or doctor.
If you think the cause could be rosacea related, I have created a range of clinically proven all-natural, skincare products that contain minimal, plant-based ingredients.
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