What causes red skin on your face?

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Facial redness is a common concern among women – whether it’s in the form of a constant flush, blotchy skin or red spots on your face.

Reasons for facial redness can vary from reactions that appear instantly to conditions that develop over time – and are usually either a medical condition or the result of an irritant.  If you’re experiencing a red rash that is persistent it may be an underlying skin condition, in which case you should pay a visit to your doctor or dermatologist to be diagnosed correctly.

We reveal five possible causes for the red skin on your face and how to treat them.

1) Rosacea
Symptoms: a constant red flush across your nose and cheeks, and small lumps similar to pimples

Rosacea is a chronic skin condition as a result of enlarged, overactive capillaries and the most common cause of facial redness. It results in an inflammation of the cheeks, forehead, nose and chin. The condition can worsen with stress, extreme weather conditions, physical activity and certain skin products, and those with fair skin are often more prone to it.Ӭ

To reduce redness: avoid highly-perfumed products, limit your alcohol intake, limit spicy foods and avoid hot baths and showers – which are all triggers of the condition. Applying cold packs can assist in reducing redness and swelling, and look for creams and gels containing antibiotics.

2) Allergies or contact dermatitis
Symptoms: a red, itchy, complexion Ӭ

Contact dermatitis is a skin condition caused by external substances touching the skin.  The most common form is irritant contact dermatitis, an inflammation that appears as a result of regular exposure to skin irritants. Allergic contact dermatitis is a delayed type of induced sensitivity when your immune system has a reaction to an ingredient, and can take days to show up. The trigger could be anything from ingredients in chemical sunscreens, preservatives in cosmetics, hair dyes, and fragrances, to prolonged contact with your mobile phone (especially if it hasn’t been cleaned for a while). ”¨

To reduce redness: it’s important to discover the cause of a contact irritant and stop using the product. Try to determine what’s new or different in your skin care routine. A cold water compress can relieve burning or stinging. Topical steroids may be used to help reduce inflammation or itching in both cases.

3) Perioral dermatisis
Symptoms: a burning feeling around the mouth, a similar rash around the eyes, nose or forehead, small red, or pink lumpy spots similar to acne.Ӭ

A common skin issue among young women, perioral dermatitis is a rash that affects the skin around the mouth. Surrounding skin may appear pink and the skin surface can often become dry and flaky. Although the cause remains unknown, using a steroid cream on the face can trigger the condition.

To reduce redness: it is advised to discontinue use of all creams and ointments to the face, including cosmetics and topical steroids. Antibiotics may be advised by a doctor to help clear the rash.

4) Facial psoriasis
Symptoms: an itchy, scaly rash most commonly found on the upper lip, forehead, eyebrows and hairline. Persistent, thickened red and dry patches on the face.

Psoriasis is a common chronic inflammatory disease that can appear on any part of the body. Most people who suffer from facial psoriasis have the disease on other parts of the body. A doctor can examine the condition and at times a biopsy is done to confirm the diagnosis.

To reduce redness: facial psoriasis requires extra care as the skin is thinner and more sensitive than the rest of the body and is usually hard to treat. Mild cases respond well to moisturisers and ointments containing vitamin D. Medications can also be prescribed by your doctor.

5) Acne redness
Symptoms: redness and inflammation around pimples.

Acne redness is an inflammatory response, it occurs when sebum (an oily substance produced by glands in the skin) combines with dead skin cells and causes clogging of the pores. Acne redness starts with pimples, and popping them can irritate the surrounding area.

Reduce redness: over exfoliating and scrubbing is common among young women with acne who think it will help to erase the problem – however this can only worsen inflammation. Look for gentle cleansers and natural products to avoid further irritation and use a green-based concealer for a quick-fix cover up (this can also be used to cover redness from rosacea).

Do you suffer from facial redness? Do you know the cause of your red skin? What are your tips for reducing facial redness?

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