Read below about facial redness, including causes, treatment options and remedies. Or get a personalized analysis of your facial redness from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

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Facial Redness Symptoms

Persistent redness across the face may seem, at first, to be merely a blush of embarrassment or a touch of sunburn. But if the "blush" does not fade and the "sunburn" does not heal, it may actually be a form of autoimmune disorder that is causing inflammation of the head and face. Facial redness and skin thickening is also called rosacea, facial telangiectasia, or rhinophyma.

Characteristics:

  • Redness across the face, especially on the cheeks and the bridge of the nose.
  • Small, spidery blood vessels visible on the cheeks and nose.
  • Roughness, bumps, and pimples, along with a burning or stinging sensation.
  • Thickened, damaged, uneven skin, especially around the nose.
  • Watery, irritated, bloodshot eyes.

Who is most often affected by facial redness?

  • Fair-skinned individuals.
  • Women are most often affected.
  • Men seem to be more severely affected.
  • Anyone with a history of blushing easily and frequently, especially if the person has the sensation of heat in the face at the same time.
  • Anyone who is an alcoholic.

When is facial redness most likely to occur?

  • Summertime, because:

    • Heat dilates blood vessels.
    • Extended sun and wind exposure can dry, irritate, or burn the skin.
  • During exercise, due to increases in circulation.
  • During stress, due to increased blood pressure.
  • During sudden temperature swings, as when going from a warm building to outdoor cold.

Is facial redness serious?

  • Mild redness is rarely serious in itself. However, it can cause serious social and professional consequences due to embarrassment, self-consciousness, and loss of confidence.
  • Persistent facial redness should not be ignored since it can be a warning sign of a more serious condition.
  • If the redness is accompanied by eye pain and irritation, or by thickening of the skin around the nose, it may lead to vision loss, facial disfigurement, and blocking of normal airflow.

Facial Redness Causes Overview

Dilation of the facial blood vessels (flushing):

  • Allergies:

    • Sensitivity to certain foods and medications will cause flushing.
    • A contact allergy to soap, cosmetics, sunblock, and anything else put on the face will cause stinging, burning, and redness.
  • Alcoholism.
  • Caffeine.
  • Sunlight, especially when it comes to flare-ups of the redness.
  • Strenuous exercise.
  • Emotional stress from embarrassment, worry, or anger can cause repeated flushing.

Diseases of the skin, which can cause damage to the surface of the skin and its underlying structure and result in permanent redness and unevenness.

  • Redness with bumps on the nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead, along with sore, burning eyes. This is essentially caused by blood vessels in the face dilating and expanding.
  • Red, dry, scaly patches of skin on the forehead, hairline, neck, ears, and face, as well as on other parts of the body.
  • Reddened, thickened, uneven skin with pimples.
  • Damage to blood vessels in the face:

    • From aging, obesity, and/or poor circulation.
    • Broken blood vessels, often from sun damage.

Rare and unusual cause types:

  • Heredity: A tendency towards facial redness, sometimes severe, may run in families.
  • Microscopic skin mites: These are normally found on human skin but are far more numerous in patients with certain forms of facial redness and inflammation.

8 Potential Facial Redness Causes

Disclaimer: The article does not replace an evaluation by a physician. Information on this page is provided as an information resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for any diagnostic or treatment purposes.

  1. 1.Non - Specific Facial Rash

    A rash is an area of irritated or swollen skin. Often, rashes are unidentifiable and some variation of normal. For example, scratching one's arm causes it to turn red (which is caused by mast cells releasing chemicals into the local area), but that's completely normal.

    1-2 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    facial redness
    Symptoms that always occur with non-specific facial rash:
    facial redness
    Symptoms that never occur with non-specific facial rash:
    fever
    Urgency:
    Wait and watch
  2. 2.Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Face

    Allergic contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin becomes irritated and inflamed following physical contact with an allergen. Common products known to cause allergic dermatitis include plants, metals, soap, fragrance, and cosmetics.

    1-2 days

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    facial redness, face itch, scabbed area of the face
    Symptoms that always occur with allergic contact dermatitis of the face:
    facial redness
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  3. 3.Acne Rosacea

    Rosacea is a long-term disease that affects the skin and sometimes the eyes. It causes redness and pimples. Rosacea is most common in women and people with fair skin. It most often affects middle-aged and older adults.

    Chronic and relapsing

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    facial redness, rough skin on the face, pink or red facial bump, nose redness, raised rash
    Symptoms that always occur with acne rosacea:
    facial redness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  4. 4.Cellulitis

    Facial cellulitis is a skin infection that typically comes from other parts of the face like the mouth or the sinuses and needs antibiotic treatment. Symptoms can be pain, redness, warmth and swelling of the affected area.

    Dependent on severity of infection

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, chills, facial redness, swollen face, face pain
    Symptoms that always occur with cellulitis:
    facial redness, area of skin redness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Facial Redness Checker

    Take a quiz to find out why you’re having facial redness.

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  5. 5.Anaphylaxis

    Anaphylaxis is the sudden onset of breathing or heart rate changes that are caused by a whole-body allergic reaction. This can be a deadly situation.

    Indefinite

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea or vomiting, headache, stomach bloating, abdominal cramps (stomach cramps), being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Emergency medical service
  6. 6.Lupus

    Lupus is a disease in which the immune system attacks healthy cells and tissues by mistake. This can damage joints, skin, blood vessels and organs.

    Lupus is a chronic condition but symptoms can be managed.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, anxiety, depressed mood, joint pain
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Rubeola (Measles)

    Measles is a childhood infection caused by a virus and results in an itchy skin rash starting from the head and moves down the body. It spreads easily through the air when the infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.

    18 days however death is possible

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fever, loss of appetite, diarrhea, being severely ill, congestion
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Jarisch - Herxheimer Reaction

    Jarisch-Herxheimer Reaction describes a phenomenon where a person being treated with antibiotics for an infection has a severe reaction to the medication.

    Reaction develops in 4 hours, and resolves within 24 hours with treatment.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, muscle aches, fever, chills, dizziness
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room

Facial Redness Treatments and Relief

Schedule an appointment for:

  • Any symptoms of facial redness as soon as they appear. The earlier the treatment begins, the more effective it will be.
  • Any facial redness that includes burning and irritation around the eyes, as vision can be affected if this is not treated.
  • Treatment of any flare-up, so that it can be managed while facial redness symptoms are still relatively mild.
  • Testing and treatment of any contact allergies.
  • Discussion of laser treatment to help fade permanent redness or visible blood vessels.

Facial redness remedies that you can try at home:

  • Protect the skin of your face from the sun. Always use sunscreen and wear hats when outdoors.
  • Keep your face very clean, using only cool water and mild cleansers, and do not let your skin become too dry and manage oil production.
  • Try over-the-counter treatments made for the skin condition that you have.
  • Make changes in diet, sleep, and exercise that will improve overall health.
  • Make lifestyle adjustments that will help you reduce and manage stress.

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Facial Redness

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Did you possibly brush into poison ivy, poison oak, or poison sumac?
  • Q.Is the red area flaky and rough to the touch?
  • Q.Do you have a rash?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, try our facial redness symptom checker to find out more.

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Facial Redness Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced facial redness have also experienced:

    • 5% Swollen Face
    • 3% Fatigue
    • 2% Headache
  • People who have experienced facial redness had symptoms persist for:

    • 31% Over a Month
    • 29% Less Than a Day
    • 28% Less Than a Week
  • People who have experienced facial redness were most often matched with:

    • 45% Non - Specific Facial Rash
    • 29% Allergic Contact Dermatitis of the Face
    • 7% Acne Rosacea
  • Source: Aggregated and anonymized results from visits to the Buoy AI health assistant (check it out by clicking on “Take Quiz”).

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