Although facial redness isn’t something to be worried about most of the time, it isn’t something you should ignore, either. Of course, the first thing you’ll need to do before you can decide whether your skin’s sudden redness is something to worry about, is to understand what skin redness actually is and what causes it. This article is going to help you out with that, so not only will you be more informed, you’d also be able to start your treatments, if they are ever needed, as early as possible.
1 What is Skin Redness?
In its most basic terms, skin redness is your skin’s way of telling you that something isn’t right. As the name implies, it’s usually takes the form of a red, itchy patch on your skin, usually as a result of environmental factors, such as direct contact with an allergen or any other substance that can cause irritation. The redness itself is caused by blood rushing into your skin, either to encourage healing, or in an effort to fight off microbes.
Usually, skin redness is accompanied by other symptoms, such as swelling, itchiness, or blisters. If you’re not particularly allergic to the substance your skin made contact with, the redness should fade away on its own after a few hours. Sometimes, however, a severe allergic reaction may occur, in which case, you’ll need to get to the doctor as soon as possible for treatments.
2 What Causes Facial Redness?
Skin redness is made much worse when it becomes noticeable, and nothing is more noticeable than your face. Facial redness is caused by any number of things, most of which are easily avoidable, but some are not so. Here are just a few of them:
One of the most common reasons why your skin suffers from redness is due to something called contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis can occur when your skin touches something you’re allergic to. Sometimes, it can be something as small as pollen, and other times, it could be from indirect contact, like pet dander on your furniture. Usually, the redness caused by allergens fades away on its own once you’ve stopped touching whatever it is you’re allergic to. Of course, if you’re not aware of your own allergies, that can be a problem.
2.2 Very Oily Skin
Another form of facial redness is due to a condition known as Seborrheic Dermatitis. It usually takes the form of a red rash on your face, and usually happens when there’s too much oil on your skin. If the condition is problematic enough, your skin may also appear dry or even scaly. Although oil on your skin does help with retaining moisture, your body will overproduce oil if your skin is dehydrated.
2.3 Trauma to the Skin
If for whatever reason, your skin becomes injured, like a scrape or a scratch, you will suffer redness and inflammation in the area. The skin being inflamed is a defense mechanism that is meant to encourage healing by increasing the blood flow. You may also notice that the area will feel warmer than the surrounding skin.
This is also a defense mechanism meant to kill bacteria by heating up the area, similar to how fevers work. If the skin itself doesn’t suffer any breaks or cuts, it should be fine, but once there’s an opening where microbes can get in, it’s best to have the area cleaned to prevent infection.
2.4 Excessive Exfoliation
If you’ve recently exfoliated, whether through a physical scrub or through chemical peels, your skin may feel tender and turn a bit red. This is because exfoliation basically counts as trauma to your skin. You’re pretty much peeling off the outer layer of your skin, and naturally, your body will react to it accordingly. Too much exfoliation can actually put your skin’s defense mechanisms into overdrive, causing you some severe facial redness.
2.5 Sensitive Skin
Of course, not all problems with facial redness is caused by things in the environment. Sometimes, an individual’s unique tolerance plays a much bigger role on whether your skin flares up in red patches or not. What may turn up as normal wear and tear for many can actually cause severe itching and redness to people with sensitive skin. Sensitive skin may be caused by a number of autoimmune diseases, most of which have a tendency to flare up when a person is stressed. Of course, some people are just simply born with a low tolerance to certain allergens and irritants, and there isn’t much that can be done for that.
2.6 Misuse of Certain Products
There is a reason why some skin products have instructions of how to use them printed on their labels. While they’re mostly meant to help a person out, if not applied correctly, they can cause your skin to break out in rashes, even when you’re not allergic to the product or any of its ingredients. Think of it simply of having too much of a good thing. Even something as simple as water can prove toxic if you drink too much of it, so it should also follow that certain chemicals can cause harm if you use too much. Also, applying certain items to areas where they’re not meant to be applied can also cause severe redness.
2.7 Reaction to a Medication
Some medications, especially if you’re allergic to one or more ingredients, can cause you to get sunburn-like rashes on your skin whenever you go out. Certain steroidal creams can react poorly when applied to your skin and is exposed to sunlight. If you are taking any medications and are having uncomfortable adverse reactions, then make sure to talk to your doctor about it. They may be able to give you alternative medication that doesn’t have this sort of reaction.
3 How to Reduce Redness on the Face
Most of the time, redness on your skin is simply unavoidable, and all you can ever do is treat the underlying problem rather than try to avoid getting it in the first place.
3.1 Healthy Living
One simple way to bolster your skin’s ability to resist redness is by simply living a healthier lifestyle. Regular exercise as well as a diet rich in vitamins and minerals can help improve your skin’s tolerance against irritants and allergens. Of course, it’s pretty much impossible to completely eliminate redness from your skin. It is, however, possible to lessen the effects of irritants by simply strengthening your skin, which a healthier lifestyle can help give you.
Also, if the facial redness you’re suffering is due to an autoimmune disease, you can also help lessen its effects through healthy living. Lesser stress is the only way to minimize the damage autoimmune diseases can have on your skin, and regular exercise as well as healthy food is one of the few ways you can achieve this.
3.2 Use Milder Products
Of course, if your skin is turning red mostly because you have sensitive skin, then the only way you can lessen the amount of redness caused by skin care products is by simply using milder ones on your skin. Choose items labeled as hypoallergenic. They tend to be mild and are designed specifically for people who have sensitive skin.
3.3 Use a Product as Intended
Aside from switching product, you can also just make sure that you’re using whatever you have now correctly. Using more of a product than what is intended is a common mistake amongst many, and the best way to avoid this is by simply double checking your chosen product’s label. Never try to use more of the product simply for “good measure”.
3.4 Topical Sedatives and Creams
If the redness or itching is particularly bad, you can always use anti-inflammatory creams or numbing agents to help clear out the redness on your skin. These types of product come in various forms, including creams, ointments and lotions, and there are items that fit your unique needs nicely. Of course, it’s important to use these items in moderation, and you should consult a professional first before attempting to do any self-medication.
3.5 Visit a Dermatologist
Speaking of professionals, if everything else fails, and you’re still plagued by the discomfort brought about by facial redness after treating it at home, then visiting a dermatologist may be your only hope. A board-certified dermatologist can help you identify the cause of your redness and can help devise a treatment plan that can fit you and your unique needs. They can also prescribe you with any medication that is safe to you and can educate you with the proper dosage. Aside from treatment, Dermatologists can also help you with preventing facial redness from ever happening again.