Why the Red Face?

By May 19, 2014 January 28th, 2020 No Comments

Red Face Causes

In the last few weeks, a new drug to treat facial redness has received approval for use in the UK.  The drug brimonidine (Mirvaso®, Galderma ) has traditionally been used in the treatment of the eye condition glaucoma.  The drug causes constriction of blood vessels and appears in the form of a gel, which is applied daily.

The term rosacea is often used to describe any cause of a red face.  Dermatologists use the term to describe a variant of acne – acne rosacea.  This is a mild variant of acne that causes multiple small red pimples and pustules and a gradual reddening of the face which can be permanent.  Both brimonidine and laser can be used to treat the redness of rosacea, but not all causes of a red face are rosacea.

Some causes of a red face:

1)     Seborrhoeic dermatitis – a mild variant of eczema and yeast colonization giving rise to redness, itching and flaking.  Might occur in the scalp, chest and other areas.

2)     Acne Rosacea – a mild variant of acne as describe above. The redness resulting is due to thread veins and more prominent capillaries.

3)     Thread veins and telangiectasia – increased redness due to prominent vessels due to various issues

4)     Sun damage – the sun can induce thread veins and prominent blood vessels

5)     Steroid cream mis-use – strong steroid creams are not recommended for the face by dermatologists as they can cause skin thinning and permanent redness.

So if you suffer from facial redness or flushing, before deciding how to treat you, it is important to see a dermatologist who can confirm what your diagnosis is.  Most causes of facial redness are easily treated, but treatments vary depending on the cause.