Checking out your face in the mirror isn't just about feeling yourself. It's a convenient way to keep track of your health as well. Knowing about the subtle changes to your facial appearance that can be a sign of a health problem is smart, after all. In fact, practicing your selfie game might help you stay healthy.
As it turns out, many different health issues can show up on a person's face. Anything from anemia to thyroid problems can produce symptoms that show up on the face. Knowing about these signs and symptoms is a helpful way to protect your own health, as well as the health of your loved ones. Just keep an eye out for these unusual facial symptoms.
That said, this isn't a reason to freak out about every little spot on your face. For the most part, a pimple is just a pimple. But if you have any real concerns about these signs showing up on your face, then visit your healthcare provider for a checkup. It could mean something else is going on in your body that needs medical attention. Read on to find out what your face could be saying about your overall health.
1. Persistent Acne
If acne is a persistent problem long after your teen years, then it may be time to visit the doctor. "Any female patient who presents to me with either persistent acne — they had it in their teens and it's continued past the age of 25 — or acne starting after age 25, I'll evaluate for PCOS," says Bethanee Schlosser, MD, in WebMD. Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (PCOS) is a hormone disorder that can cause irregular cycles and thinning hair, in addition to acne.
2. Violet Rash
Take note if a purple or reddish rash appears on your face. An itchy, violet rash that appears on the face (especially around the eyelids) is frequently the first sign of dermatomyositis, a somewhat rare inflammatory disease, according to the Mayo Clinic. Treatment can help clear the skin rash.
3. Painful Red Bumps
Pay attention if you have what appear to be painful, red spider bites appear on your face. These bumps may indicate a staph infection, including MRSA, according to the Mayo Clinic. Particularly if these spots are warm to the touch or accompanied by a fever, get them checked out by a doctor, as further noted by the Mayo Clinic.
4. Thinning Eyebrows
If your eyebrows are thinning, and waxing is not to blame, then consider a doctor's visit. The loss of hair in the eyebrows is a potential sign of thyroid deficiency, as dermatologist Sanusi Umar, M.D., explained in Self.
5. Red Blotches
If your face turns red for no apparent reason, check your meds. Medications such as hydrocortisone creams can cause a sunburn-like reaction on the face, according to the American Academy of Dermatology Association.
6. Facial Hair
Noticing some new hair growth on your face? Polycystic ovary syndrome can cause the growth of excess facial hair in women, according to the Mayo Clinic.
7. Dry, Flaky Skin
Take note if your skin is dry even when you're well hydrated. Conditions such as diabetes and hypothyroidism can also cause dry, flaky skin, as Roshini Raj, MD., explained in Reader's Digest.
8. Yellow Spots On Eyelids
Look out for bumpy yellow patches around your eyelids. Known as xanthelasma, these bumps are harmless on their own, although (in rare cases) they can indicate the presence of heart disease, according to Healthline.
9. Sudden Facial Asymmetry
Does your reflection in the mirror look a little off? A condition such as Bell’s palsy can cause paralysis of the facial muscles, sometimes causing the face to appear asymmetrical, according to Healthline. Definitely seek medical attention if this is the case.
10. Yellow Complexion
Take note if your complexion takes on a yellow cast. It could be jaundice, which may indicate an issue with your liver or bile duct, according to Medical News Today.
11. New Moles
Most moles are not problematic. But a new mole that appears in adulthood may be more likely to become cancerous than old moles, according to Healthline. Let your healthcare provider know if a brand new mole shows up anywhere on your face or body, and just be aware of its appearance.
12. Butterfly Rash
Some diseases produce distinctive rashes. For instance, a rash that spreads across the cheeks and nose, also known as a butterfly rash, may indicate cutaneous lupus, according to the Lupus Foundation of America.
13. Puffy Eyes
A long night of crying or allergies can often have this reaction. But puffy eyes can also be caused by a chalazion, which can develop into a sebaceous cyst, according to All About Vision.
14. Bronzing Of The Skin
If your skin takes on a bronzed look, but you haven't been to the beach lately, take notice. Bronzing of the skin can indicate a metabolic iron deficiency in people with diabetes, according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
15. Sudden Eczema
If you've always dealt with eczema, then a new flaky patch is probably not reason for concern. But take note if this condition appears suddenly. "If you are over 30 or 40, and you've never had eczema as a kid — and all of a sudden, your skin is dry and you seem to be getting eczema — that could be sign of a hormonal issue like low thyroid," said dermatologist Dr. Doris Day in Live Science. Basically? If any change in your facial appearance is causing concern, then don't hesitate to get it checked out by a doctor.
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