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Acner.org: Acne treatment

What Are the Causes of Red Skin on the Face?

Overview

Rashes are discoloration on the skin that are caused by a variety of conditions. According to MedlinePlus, redness on the face can be caused by anything from an underlying medical condition to environmental hazards or allergies. Once the cause of the irritation is determined, you can treat red skin on the face accordingly.

Types

A simple case of redness on the face can be the result of sensitivity to various products such as latex or rubber. Called contact dermatitis, the redness also can appear after coming in contact with poison ivy, dyes or chemicals, soaps or perfumes. Seborrheic dermatitis is another type of mild redness that occurs on the face and is caused by stress, fatigue, age or extreme weather exposure.

Identification

When a red rash is persistent or chronic, it may be the result of an underlying medical condition that can be diagnosed by a dermatologist. Conditions that cause red skin on the face include eczema and psoriasis. Impetigo is an infection often seen in children that causes red patches on the face. Childhood diseases such as measles, chicken pox, scarlet fever and rubella also can cause the discoloration. Lupus and Kawasaki disease can cause red discoloration in adults.

Effects

Sometimes redness appears suddenly on the face when a person becomes embarrassed or excited. Anger and other emotions also can bring on blushing or facial flushing. Drinking alcohol affects the blood vessels in the face and can cause redness. Hot, spicy foods can cause a sudden rush of blood to the face. Hot drinks and sun exposure can bring on a red discoloration quickly in some people. Redness also can occur when you have a fever. According to MedlinePlus, women undergoing menopause often get redness on the face when they experience a hot flash.

Considerations

Red splotches on the face typically are not life-threatening. According to MayoClinic.com, the skin is very resilient and can survive most attacks from environmental sources, bacteria, heat and fungi. Rashes can be uncomfortable and even painful however and they can cause embarrassment and social withdrawal. Self-care, monitoring exposure to irritants and over-the-counter itch remedies often ease discomfort. Most rashes clear up within a few days with little or no interference, according to MayoClinic.com.

Warning

A red rash on the face can indicate a serious medical condition that warrants a visit to the doctor's office or emergency room. According to MedlinePlus, you should seek medical attention if you also experience shortness of breath or your face begins to swell in conjunction with the rash. Children who develop a red rash on their faces should be provided immediate medical care if the rash darkens and looks like a bruise. Other conditions that require medical intervention include streaks coming out of the redness, a fever or sore throat. If you just started taking a new medication and develop redness on the face, consult a doctor to make sure you aren't having a drug reaction.

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