What Causes Redness in the Face?

Medically Reviewed on 12/20/2022
Causes of Redness in the Face
Redness in the face is a common dermatological ailment with a number of different causes.

Redness or flushing across the cheeks and nose is a usual symptom that people notice very frequently. Redness might have a range of dermatological causes, and it’s always important to rule out any potentially worrying causes, such as lupus or dermatomyositis.

The redness may occasionally go away on its own. However, if your symptoms are bothersome and persistent or interfere with your daily activities, you must consult your doctor.

Our faces can get red for a variety of reasons, such as:

Here are a few of the most typical reasons why people go red in the face.

What are the reasons for redness in the face?

Here are 10 major causes for why you might perceive a crimson face in the mirror:

  1. Seborrheic dermatitis: A red rash that frequently occurs on the face is caused by the common skin ailment seborrheic dermatitis. The rash may make the skin appear oily. Additionally, the skin may appear flaky and dry. Most of the time, seborrheic dermatitis must be treated to get rid of the symptoms. A dermatologist with board certification can design a course of therapy that is specific to your requirements. Dandruff shampoo and topical medications that you apply to your skin may be used as treatments.
  2. Rosacea: A prevalent condition that typically affects the skin on the face. It makes the forehead, cheeks, chin, and nose red. The redness may deepen with time, taking on a crimson appearance. Small blood vessels (spider veins) could be visible. Rosacea occasionally shows symptoms on the chest, neck, ears, or scalp. If rosacea is not treated, it can result in red, firm lumps, and pimples packed with pus. It's estimated that 14 million Americans have rosacea. Most of them are not aware that they are afflicted by this condition.
  3. Skin irritation or an allergic reaction: Contact dermatitis develops when an allergen or irritant comes in contact with the skin. Blisters, itching, burning, and a rash are some possible symptoms. Contact dermatitis can be caused by soaps, fabric softeners, shampoos, laundry detergents, and even prolonged exposure to water. In addition, latex gloves, adhesives, nail polish, topical treatments, plants, and metals (including nickel, which is a component of stainless steel and other alloys used to produce costume jewelry) might result in an allergic reaction. Sometimes, an allergen won't result in a skin reaction unless the skin is exposed to sunlight. Photoallergic contact dermatitis is the medical term for this illness. It can occur with things such as shaving cream, sunscreen, and some scents.
  4. Reaction to medication: Spending time outside during the day while taking certain drugs can result in a reaction that resembles a sunburn. A skin reaction can also result from using a drug, such as hydrocortisone (steroid) cream, for a longer period than recommended.
  5. Atopic dermatitis (AD): The most prevalent form of eczema in the United States, which affects more than 9.6 million children and more than 16.5 million adults. It's a long-lasting disorder that can coexist with other eczema types and fluctuate for years or throughout one's lifetime. The immune system becomes disorganized and hyperactive in people with AD for many reasons that science is still trying to completely understand. As a result, the skin becomes inflamed and the skin barrier is damaged, making the skin dry and more prone to rashes that may have a purple, brown, or greyish hue on darker skin tones and red color on lighter skin tones.
  6. Psoriasis: Psoriasis is an autoimmune condition, which means that the body's immune system overreacts and starts attacking healthy tissues. Patches of thick red skin with silvery scales are typical signs of psoriasis. The rashes can appear everywhere but are most frequently observed on the elbows, knees, face, scalp, lower back, cheeks, palms, and soles of the feet (fingernails, toenails, and mouth). Psoriasis is of several types and leads to characteristic lesions, with plaque psoriasis being the most prevalent type of psoriasis.
  7. Spider veins: Small, red, purple, and blue blood vessels that twist and turn and can be seen through the skin. They affect the capillaries—the body's tiniest blood vessels. Spider veins resemble a spider's web or tree limb and are red or blue. They are usually noticeable on the face and legs.
  8. Shingles: Herpes zoster, popularly known as shingles, is a condition that causes a painful skin rash. The varicella-zoster virus, which also causes chickenpox, is responsible for its development. The virus continues to remain in some of your nerve cells after you recover from chickenpox (typically as a youngster). The virus is usually dormant in adults and never results in shingles. However, the virus will reactivate and produce shingles in roughly one in three adults.
  9. Lupus: Caused when the body's immune system attacks its tissues and organs (autoimmune disease). Your joints, skin, kidneys, blood cells, brain, heart, and lungs are just a few of the body sites that can become inflamed because of lupus. Because lupus's signs and symptoms frequently resemble those of other diseases, it can be challenging to diagnose. Many, but not all, cases of lupus are characterized by the disease's most recognizable symptom—a face rash that spreads across both cheeks like a butterfly's wings. Lupus can be brought on by infections, certain medications, or even sunlight, but some people are predisposed to it from birth. Lupus has no known cause or therapy; however, medications can help manage symptoms.
  10. Some types of cancer: Sezary syndrome is a component of chronic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL). CTCL causes unchecked proliferation of T-cells (lymphocytes [a type of white blood cells]). CTCLs are a subtype of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. Mycosis fungoides and other CTCLs primarily result in a red skin rash.


Eczema Browse our medical image collection of allergic skin disorders such as psoriasis and dermatitis and more caused by allergies See Images
Medically Reviewed on 12/20/2022
Image Source: iStock image