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Red Face Causes

Red Face Causes

Red face, also referred to as facial flushing can be the result of a skin disorder such as eczema. Other red face causes include excess alcohol consumption and prolonged exposure to sun.
Nicks J
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2018
Face turning red is usually not an alarming situation and many a time lasts for a short while, especially when it is associated with emotional disturbances such as anger. However, facial redness that does not go away is suggesting an underlying skin problem such as rosacea.
Reasons for Redness on Face
It is commonly observed that a person in a stressful situation often reacts with a red face. In other words, red face can be considered as the body's response to stress. Other causes of red face are given below:
Rosacea
Red facial skin is the most common symptom of rosacea. People affected with rosacea have unusual redness on the nose and cheeks, and may be accompanied by formation of pimples. In this skin condition, the facial blood vessels do not function properly and can be clearly noticed on the face. Rosacea causes damage to the facial blood vessels, which in turn increases the flow of blood in that region. This often appears as patches of redness on the facial skin. If left untreated, it can lead to inflammation of the skin and the eyes can also get affected. The incidence of rosacea is high in fair skinned people in the age group of 30 - 60 years.
Eczema
Eczema is a skin disorder that causes dry and red skin. It commonly affects the face and triggers a rash (formation of blisters) that makes the skin itchy. Eczema that causes excessive scratching, can occur due to exposure to allergens such as dust, mold or pet dander. Even use of inappropriate soaps and shampoos can cause eczema and trigger itchiness and dry skin patches on the face.
Cold Weather
Cold climatic conditions that are prevalent in the months of winter can also cause red face. The flushing is prominently visible on the cheeks. In extreme cold, when the temperature drops below 0 degree Celsius, red blotches appear on the cheeks and this may be followed by formation of rash.
Medications
Medications that are prescribed for high blood pressure (HBP) patients can also be responsible for causing facial redness. For instance, calcium channel blockers and vasodilators that are often used to treat HBP can also cause side effects such as flushed face, dizziness, fatigue, skin rashes, headache and swollen ankles.
Sunburn
Over exposure to the sun can damage the skin tissues and the condition is referred to as sunburn. The damaged tissues causes extreme pain. When sunburn affects the face, it is typically marked by facial flushing (red skin). The intensity of redness may differ from person to person, but the changed color of the skin is distinctly visible.
Alcoholism
Alcohol abuse is one of the prominent factors that trigger facial redness. It is found that many alcohol addicts suffer from facial flushing (the skin turns red). Alcohol abuse causes the facial blood vessels to expand, thus increasing the circulation of blood in that area. This in turn manifests in the form of unusual redness on the face. Recent research claims that people becoming red after alcohol consumption have a higher chance of suffering from esophageal cancer.
Diabetes
Diabetics who suffer from chronically high blood sugar levels, may show facial flushing. Skin problems are common in people diagnosed with this sugar imbalance disease. Frequent urination associated with diabetes causes excessive fluid loss. This can make the skin appear dehydrated and cause skin discoloration that is visible in the form of rubeosis, a condition that is typically marked by abnormal redness on the face. In some patients, the skin color changes to abnormal yellowish tint. Rosacea also tends to be common in people affected with this chronic ailment.
Hyperthyroidism
Thyroid disorders such as hyperthyroidism can also cause abnormal redness on face. Hyperthyroidism that leads to excess production of thyroid hormones can certainly change the appearance of skin. For a healthy skin, it is very important to have thyroid levels in the normal range. So, when there is too much presence of thyroid hormones, the skin turns dry and face may appear red and swollen. People diagnosed with Hashimoto's disease (yet another thyroid condition) can cause red face and is accompanied by burning sensation. In this condition, the thyroid tissue is invaded by the immune system, resulting in low thyroid levels. Other symptoms associated with these thyroid disorders include fatigue, changes in bowel habits (constipation or diarrhea), increase in appetite, thinning hair and unexplained changes in weight.
Is Facial Redness a Symptom of High Blood Pressure (HBP)?
This is a myth that needs to be debunked. Flushing is associated with increased blood flow in the veins. On the other hand, HBP is linked to elevated blood pressure in the arteries. So, in no way redness on face is related to high blood pressure. Moreover, HBP is a medical condition that many times does not show any symptoms. The only way to detect disturbances in normal blood pressure is to have a medical checkup on a regular basis. Although causes of red face such as alcohol intake and exercise do elevate blood pressure temporarily, HBP is not the reason behind occurrence of flushing.
How To Treat Red Face
  • Application of non-comedogenic moisturizers often works to heal red blotchy skin that occurs during winter. Non-comedogenic products are oil free and do not block the pores and cause irritation.
  • Those suffering from rosacea are commonly treated with ointments and creams that contain antibiotics such as clindamycin and metronidazole. MetroCream and Cleocin are the popular skin care products used for the treatment of rosacea. Severe form of rosacea is usually treated with oral antibiotic pills such as erythromycin and minocycline. Herbs such as licorice and burdock root have proved to be extremely beneficial to reduce symptoms of rosacea. As far as diet is concerned, stay away from spicy hot foods and beverages to prevent rosacea from worsening. It is also necessary to manage stress effectively to keep rosacea flare-ups at bay.
  • Although there are over the counter products to treat eczema, use of home remedies such as application of coconut oil or diluted olive oil can greatly reduce the redness caused by eczema. Use of aloe vera gel or lotion is another effective method to relieve the redness and itchiness of the skin.
  • Applying a sunscreen lotion and wearing a hat, while traveling in the hot sun, can protect the skin from harmful UV rays, thereby keeping sunburn at bay.
Persistent red face that does not respond to topical treatment is indicating an underlying condition and will require medical intervention. So, discuss your medication history and the symptoms that you are experiencing with your health care provider and undergo all the necessary medical tests for correct diagnosis.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.