Redness, also called erythema, is usually caused by dilated blood vessels in the relatively thin skin of the face. It manifests as red spots or surface areas (e.g. red cheeks). The lighter the skin, the more quickly and distinctly the redness appears.
What are causes of skin redness?
- Strong emotions (e.g. blushing)
- Hot flashes (e.g. due to hormonal changes before or during menopause)
- Physical exertion (exercise)
- Sunburn from UV radiation
- Extreme temperatures or temperature fluctuations (cold, heat, sauna, hot baths)
- Irritating skin care products (alcohol-containing toners, exfoliants, etc.)
- Allergic reactions, which can be localized (e.g. contact allergy to skin-care products or make-up) or systemic (e.g. to foods or drugs)
- Injuries (abrasions)
- Infections, inflammation (e.g. fever)
- Food and drink: hot spices, tea, coffee, alcohol
Predisposition or underlying conditions
- Family predisposition (depending on skin type)
- Sensitive skin conditions such as delicate skin, rosacea, acne, eczema, psoriasis or perioral dermatitis
- Underlying conditions (e.g. thyroid function disorders, hemochromatosis, heart and lung conditions)
- Vascular malformations (hemangioma, naevus flammeus/port wine stain)
- Vascular dilatation (telangiectasia/couperose, angiomas)
Avoid irritating substances (e.g. irritating exfoliants), triggering factors and known allergies when possible, or minimize contact as much as possible.
What helps for facial redness?
The range of therapeutic options is just as wide as the range of possible causes and clinical variations of facial redness. A primary-care provider or dermatologist should always be consulted to answer any questions that may arise.
General tips for relieving facial redness:
- Skin-type-appropriate cleansing, care and make-up
- Consistent protection from light
- Healthy, balanced and mindful lifestyle