Reasons Why Your Face Is Red (and What You Can Do About It)

Reasons Why Your Face Is Red (and What You Can Do About It)

You know the feeling: You look in the mirror and are startled to see your face is red. You’re not sure why it happened, but you want to get rid of the redness as soon as possible.

Your face is red because your blood vessels dilated, causing more blood than usual to rush to your skin. This extra blood makes your face appear red. 

So, why did this phenomenon happen to you? That’s a question best answered with a trip to your dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis.

In the meantime, here are a few possible reasons your face is red and suggestions for what you can do about it, courtesy of the experts at Melanie Adams Dermatology in Columbia, Maryland.


Rosacea is a skin condition that often begins as a tendency to blush easily, but the redness lasts longer than expected or doesn’t fade. Rosacea can’t be cured, but it can be treated — especially if you work with your dermatologist to determine what triggers your episodes.

Common triggers include sun exposure, makeup or sunscreen that irritates your skin, temperature extremes, alcohol, and spicy foods. 

Low-dose antibiotics and laser treatments can help, as can using a gentle cleanser and soothing moisturizer.


Eczema, also called atopic dermatitis, can cause flare-ups of redness, usually presenting as a rash that’s dry, scaly, and itchy. 

Like rosacea, this condition can’t be cured, but treatment and trigger management can help. Common triggers include stress, laundry detergents, wool clothing, weather, and some skin care products.

Your dermatologist can help you determine your triggers and devise a treatment plan that could include corticosteroids and medical ointments. Baths and moisturizers can also help soothe your skin and calm your eczema.

Reaction to medication

Some medications can cause an allergic reaction that produces redness, especially if you’re outdoors. A classic example is using a hydrocortisone cream for too long.

Treatment may be as simple as staying out of the sun while you’re using that medication. If this doesn’t clear up the problem, check with your doctor.

Contact dermatitis

This condition develops when something touches your face that irritates it or causes an allergic reaction. Examples include soap, hair dye, poison ivy, and latex.

This rash usually clears up once exposure to the irritant is over. If you’re not sure what you came into contact with, these tips from the American Academy of Dermatology can help.

Shingles and lupus

Your redness could be caused by a medical condition such as shingles or lupus. 

Shingles can cause a painful, blistering rash; it’s important to get this treated, or it could cause permanent damage to your eyesight. Antiviral medication can protect your sight and prevent years of nerve pain because of shingles.

Lupus is an autoimmune disease, meaning your immune system attacks your body. Symptoms include redness and swelling that could appear as a butterfly-shaped rash on your face. Your doctor can help you develop a treatment plan to clear up the rash and manage your lupus.

If you’d like to set up a consultation with Melanie Adams Dermatology, just call our office or request your appointment online today.

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