For most people, a red face is a sign of one thing and one thing only: embarrassment.
That’s a fair assessment. Embarrassment does indeed cause a flushed appearance to the skin, often a pattern of redness right across the cheekbones. It’s a recognizable reality that most of us are familiar with, but it tends to fade within a few minutes.
So push further into your mind; what else does a red face signify? Exertion is probably the next most common answer – and, again, it’s impossible to disagree. If you’ve been exercising up a storm, then your face will show the effort by flushing red. However, as with embarrassment, the redness is temporary.
However, for certain women, facial redness isn’t caused by embarrassment, exercise, alcohol, or the other most commonly suggested issues. Instead, redness is caused by an illness rather than a transitory reflection of an emotion or physical exertion. There are a number of illnesses that can cause facial redness – and what’s more, you might not even realize that you’re a sufferer.
Facial Redness Isn’t Taken Seriously
For some reason, facial redness just isn’t taken seriously. There’s a number of reasons this might be the case. Firstly, it’s because – as described above – we all have “normal” explanations for why facial skin may become red, so we don’t suspect anything beyond these when we experience it. Secondly, it’s fair to say that facial redness is seen as acceptable for the majority of people. When you apply blush as part of your makeup routine – the sole purpose of which is to make your face redder – then it can be harder to see redness as a problem.
The result of this is that thousands of women may have skin conditions, and they have no idea that they’re suffering. There are stories everywhere of women having no idea they had a skin condition until informed of it by a medical professional.
So if you’ve ever experienced facial redness, then it’s worth taking the time to think about the causes that might be behind it.
Consider… Cutaneous Lupus
If you’re currently asking yourself “what is cutaneous lupus?” then don’t worry, you’re not alone – it’s not a well-known condition. It’s important to first distinguish between cutaneous lupus and systemic lupus. Cutaneous lupus affects the skin, while systemic lupus, which has been much-discussed in recent years due to Selena Gomez’s diagnosis of the condition, impacts a range of bodily functions.
Cutaneous lupus produces a red, often butterfly-shaped rash over the face and, on occasion, other areas of the body. It can be relatively mild (so you just appear to be more flushed than usual) or extremely severe and painful. It is not dangerous per se, but can be uncomfortable and damage self-esteem. If you have a persistent red rash anywhere on your body (and particularly across your nose and cheeks), then speak to a doctor and raise cutaneous lupus as a concern.
Rosacea and cutaneous lupus are often mistaken for one another, so it’s important to speak to a medical professional if you suspect you have either. Rosacea is a condition that causes excess facial redness, which is often accompanied by a burning or prickling feeling.
Many rosacea sufferers are able to identify particular ‘triggers’ that will cause their skin to flare; these can be dietary, skincare ingredients, or even the weather. Although rosacea causes flares of severe redness, many sufferers also develop permanent patches of redness.
The cause of rosacea is not particularly well known, although there is suspicion in the medical community that it is autoimmune in nature. Until more research is conducted, most sufferers deal with the condition by themselves, using over-the-counter skincare treatments and avoiding anything that triggers a flare up.
Finally, an overactive thyroid gland can cause facial redness for some sufferers. However, the redness is rarely a skin-specific issue with hyperthyroidism. Instead, it’s a consequence of the overheating that hyperthyroidism can cause, so sufferers will mostly experience redness along with feelings of being too hot or sweating excessively.
If the above sounds familiar to your experience, then it’s worth checking the other symptoms of hyperthyroidism. If they sound familiar, speak to a doctor; treatment is accessible and usually successful.
Facial redness is not seen as a problematic skin condition by many, especially when compared to more common ailments such as acne and eczema. However, redness isn’t just something that you have to accept. If you suspect you have any of the above conditions, then speak to a doctor and investigate your treatment options… and in future, any facial redness you experience should be solely from the blush you applied to your cheeks!