It is almost the holiday season. A red nose and rosy cheeks may be cute on Rudolph or Santa's elves, but it may not be the look you are going for. Here are the top reasons why patients have redness on their face and ways to treat it:
1. Rosacea: This skin condition often comes on later in life, in a patient's 30's or 50's. It often begins with a tendency to flush or blush easily. If the condition progresses, you many notice that the redness on your face lasts longer — or never fades.
How to get rid of the redness: While rosacea cannot be cured, treatment can lessen the redness. There are different types of rosacea. A board-certified dermatologist can tell you if you have rosacea. If you have rosacea, your dermatologist can tell you which type of rosacea you have and create a treatment plan tailored to your needs.
2. Atopic Dermatitis: Atopic dermatitis, often called eczema, can appear at any age, even adults. Infants often develop this itchy rash on their cheeks, and folds of skin. Adults often get oval scaly patches on their arms and legs. Regardless of where the rash appears, the skin with the rash tends to feel extremely dry, scaly, and itchy.
3. Skin Irritation or Allergic Reaction: A condition called contact dermatitis develops when something that touches your skin either: Irritates it or causes an allergic reaction. The face is a common place to get contact dermatitis. A soap or hair dye can irritate your skin, causing a condition known as irritant contact dermatitis.If you are allergic to what touches your face, you can develop allergic contact dermatitis. Common causes of allergic contact dermatitis include poison ivy, fragrances, and latex.
How to get rid of the redness: This rash tends to clear on its own when you stop exposing your skin to whatever is causing the reaction. Because this reaction can be caused by so many products, including those that you’ve used for years, and everyday things in your environment, it can be a challenge to figure out what’s causing the rash. If you cannot figure out what’s causing the redness, a board-certified dermatologist can help.
4. Seborrheic Dermatitis: Is a skin condition caused by a yeast form that lives on everyone's skin naturally. In some patients, it over grows and causes greasy red scales to form around the eyelids or creases of the nose.
5. Reaction to a medication: Some medications can cause a sunburn-like reaction when you spend time outdoors during the day. Using a medication, such as a hydrocortisone (a steroid) cream, for longer than directed can also cause a skin reaction.
How to get rid of the redness: Check the information that came with the medication to see if you should stay out of the sun. This may be all you need to do to clear the redness.
If the redness is caused by using a medication, such as hydrocortisone cream, for too long, you may be able to get rid of the rash on your own, and if it presists seek help from a Board certified dermatologist.
When to see a board-certified dermatologist
Because many conditions can cause your face to turn red, it’s essential to get the right diagnosis. Board-certified dermatologists are trained to treat thousands of conditions that affect the skin.
If the redness on your face lasts more than 2 weeks, make an appointment to see a dermatologist.