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Why Is Your Face Red?

Red-colored facial skin has many causes, ranging from chronic conditions to minor temporary issues. Whether you have red patches, spots, blotches, or an all-over color, take a look at the possible causes behind the color. Sunburn If your skin suddenly seems to glow with a deep shade of pink or red following a long day outside, you have a sunburn. Sunburn causes redness, tenderness, and peeling that typically resolves on its own. Even though the red color may fade or peel away, repeated burns can lead to lasting sun damage or a serious form of skin cancer. In some cases, a severe burn that blisters or is accompanied by fever and nausea results. These burns require prompt medical treatment. The symptoms of a sunburn show up hours or even a day after sun exposure. What can seem like limited sun exposure or outdoor exposure on a cloudy day can also result in a burn, so take precaution whenever you are outdoors. Rosacea Nearly 16 million people in the U.S. have rosacea, according to the National Rosacea Society. This dermatological condition causes noticeable facial redness. The red tone can spread to the chest and back as well. Some people with rosacea experience swelling or acne-like marks on their face. A dermatologist must evaluate you in order to diagnose this condition. If the doctor determines that you do have rosacea, treatments may include avoiding triggers (such as overheating or eating spicy foods) and creating a rosacea-friendly skincare routine (such as using a mild cleanser). Medication Reaction Drug rashes are a common side effect of some types of medications. The primary cause of this dermatological symptom is an allergic reaction to the drug. This can occur with either prescription or over-the-counter medications. Along with facial redness, some patients also experience redness across the body, blisters, acne-like bumps, peeling, or discomfort or pain. If you suspect that a medication is causing your red skin reaction, contact a medical provider immediately. Drug-related allergic reactions range from minor to severe, making it absolutely essential to get prompt medical attention. If you discontinue the drug, the symptoms may also abate. If that doesn’t help to reduce or remove the redness (or you have other symptoms), you may need a corticosteroid treatment. Medication allergies that result in life-threatening reactions often require epinephrine injections. Psoriasis This dermatological condition causes a buildup of skin cells that can result in scaly, red patches. The red areas often have thick, silver-colored scales on top and may crack or bleed. Depending on the severity of the condition, you can also experience small or large psoriasis patches. Like other skin issues, this condition requires a doctor’s diagnosis. Possible treatments include topical corticosteroids, synthetic vitamin D, anthralin (a prescription medication that slows the growth of skin cells), topical retinoids, topical salicylic acid, calcineurin inhibitors (to reduce inflammation), or moisturizers. Shingles Shingles, or herpes zoster, is a common illness that affects one out of every three Americans, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The same virus that causes chickenpox can reactivate, resulting in shingles. This often happens years or decades after initially having chickenpox. The main shingles symptom is a red, painful rash. Most shingles sufferers develop blisters that last for a week or longer. If you suspect that you have shingles, contact a doctor for an official diagnosis. Several antiviral medications can reduce the severity of the symptoms. Your doctor may also prescribe or recommend using analgesics for the pain or colloidal oatmeal baths/treatments for the skin redness and discomfort. Do you have red patches or a full red face? Contact East Carolina Dermatology and Skin Surgery, PLLC, for more information.  

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