Last Updated October 11th, 2019
Health conditions and your face
The face is the place where your every emotion unwittingly shows. These could be your smiles, your sorrow, your fears, and your doubts. The face is that part of the body you see every day quite frequently. You are habituated to look at it or even observe it closely at least twice a day. You brush your teeth or shave, take a selfie, or sometimes it is just to satisfy your vanity. Take your pick, but you do so every day. This means that the likelihood is also quite high that you will be able to notice a sign of disease on your face. And the face actually closely mirrors your inner health.
Signs on the face that you must watch out for
Whatever the reason may be, there could be telltale signs of diseases on your face. Here are 15 of them that are most common. You cannot miss these even with a single stare at the mirror.
Swelling of the face
Generally, facial swelling is a result of fluid retention in the face and is caused by an underlying condition. Some of the conditions that can cause facial swelling are
- Hypothyroidism or a defect of the thyroid gland not producing enough hormones
- Anaphylaxis or life-threatening condition resulting from allergen exposure
- Angioedema, or a general swelling of the skin
- A side effect of certain medications
A butterfly rash is an indication that you may have lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease that affects several systems of your body. An autoimmune disease is a disease in which the immune system starts attacking the cells in your body. It affects the joints, heart, brain, kidneys, lungs, skin cells, and blood cells. Though a butterfly rash, which is spread across your cheeks like a butterfly, is a common symptom of lupus, it does not happen in all cases. In fact, the symptoms of lupus sometimes mimic those of other diseases, which makes it hard to diagnose.
A red, swollen nose is caused by chronic sinusitis. It happens by an inflammation of the spaces within your nose and your head. This lasts for three months or longer, which is why it needs treatment. This can create difficulty in breathing. It is caused by an interference with the formation of mucus in your nose, making it stuffy. It is caused by the growth of nasal polyps, by an infection, or by a swelling of the lining of the sinuses. It can affect both adults and children.
Doctors call it ptosis or blepharoptosis. You can have droopy eyelids under both eyes or under a single one. You may get it over the decades. This is when it happens over a longer period. However, you could get it in a matter of days or even a few hours sometimes. If you get in the long term, it could be a sign of problems with your brain, nerves, or your eye socket. However, if it happens within a much shorter period, then you need to consult a doctor. It could be a sign of stroke if you have accompanying symptoms such as a bad headache, weak muscles, or difficulty swallowing. Sometimes you may have droopy eyelids from birth.
Discharge from the eyes
You can also have a case of pus coming from the eye. The white pus draining from the eye could be a result of a corneal ulcer. A corneal ulcer is caused when there is an inflammation in the eye, leading to the formation of an ulcer on the cornea. It could also be the result of a bacterial infection such as conjunctivitis. Sometimes all it needs to cause a white or yellow discharge from the eyes is the presence of foreign objects in the eye. It is just a natural reaction of the eye trying to get rid of them. Do not confuse the white discharge that can come at any time with the mucus you have when you wake up. Such mucus is very normal.
Bags under eyes
Bags under the eyes or puffiness can be very normal, often a result of the aging process. They can also be caused by a lack of sleep. As you age, your muscles also start to weaken. This might cause the fat supporting your eyes to move lower causing bags under your eyes. This makes them puffy. However, sometimes you may have other symptoms along with puffiness. Sometimes there is redness in the eyes, they may be itchy, or there could even be swelling. Your doctor would need to look at it then to rule out the possibility of disease. Some of these diseases are thyroid, an infection, or even an allergy to pollen, fragrances, or other substances. Even if the bags under eyes are a natural result of aging, they can be reversed, along with other signs of aging.
Sometimes when you wake up in the morning and look at your face, you may notice strange asymmetries. It could even be that the muscles on one side of your face are twitching or unable to move. If the paralysis is caused by an infection, it could even be Bell’s palsy. In addition, Bell’s palsy only affects one side of your face at a time. It causes that side of the face to become paralyzed or droop. It can also happen to people with diabetes. The symptoms of Bell’s palsy are temporary. In serious cases of paralysis, it could be a result of a stroke. The doctor is the only person who can give the best idea of what has happened and what course of treatment to take.
Odd-shaped or slightly larger moles
Odd-shaped moles could be a sign of a serious disease. Sometimes the moles on your face are larger than usual or they are unevenly colored. In certain cases, the outline of the mole may even be jagged. The mole could even have an odd shape. If you notice anything unusual about a mole on your face such as this, it would be good to consult a doctor.
Yellowish skin or eyes
Yellowish skin or eyes are usually a symptom of liver disease, particularly jaundice. Jaundice happens when the liver is overworked to remove the harmful toxins in the body. In such cases, the liver is unable to get rid of the bile, which is a greenish-yellow substance in the body. In smaller babies, jaundice is quite common. It also is mostly harmless. However, in adults, it could be serious. It could be a result of conditions such as viral infections (hepatitis is an example), gall bladder or liver disease, or sometimes even alcohol abuse.
You may have sores around your mouth that get reddish over time. Generally, these are cold sores and are caused by the herpes virus. The herpes virus is transmitted orally as well. Sometimes, you can get it through the salivary exchange. It could be a while after the infection that there is a breakout. Sometimes it could take years before you get a cold sore. It breaks out when you are stressed out, has a fever, or have been in the sun too long. It usually resolves spontaneously. However, it could be that you need medication to get rid of them sometimes. If they do not resolve within a few days, you must consult a doctor.
Cracked lips are a common sign of dehydration. However, it would be nice to consult a doctor if it does not resolve by drinking enough water. This is because it could be a result of an allergy or an infection. It could also be a reaction to some drug, such as a steroid. You could use beeswax, eucalyptus oil, or even camphor or menthol to treat your cracked lips. If you are allergic to plant-based oils like beeswax and eucalyptus oil, then you could use a petroleum jelly-based product.
Excess facial hair
It is possible for women to have excess facial hair. Sometimes this could be normal based on genetic factors. Sometimes, it could be a sign of the polycystic ovarian syndrome. It is a disorder that is common among women of reproductive age. It causes enlarged ovaries with small cysts on the outer edges. If you suspect that this is the case, then you need to consult a doctor. Other symptoms of the polycystic ovarian syndrome are
- Irregular or no periods at all
- Weight gain
- Thinning of hair or loss of hair on the head
- Oily skin or acne
Pimples and blackheads
The clogging of the hair follicles in the skin leads to the formation of blackheads. Pimples and blackheads are caused by the accumulation of dead cells under the skin. It could also be the result of hormonal changes or a reaction to taking too many corticosteroids, lithium, or androgens. Sometimes the lack of sleep has also been known to cause blackheads. The management of blackheads is generally possible at home.
Yellow bumps on your eyelids
As you age, you could get yellow bumps on your upper eyelids. This is referred to as xanthelasmata. This is a result of the accumulation of excess cholesterol. They are generally not dangerous by themselves. They can be removed surgically. However, in certain cases, they may be a sign of heart disease or even an impending heart attack. It would be a good idea, therefore, to visit the doctor any time you notice these unusual bumps or spots.
Sometimes gray-brown patches are formed on the skin, especially on your face. It is generally formed in pregnant women. It could be related to conditions during pregnancy or the intake of birth control pills. After pregnancy or when the pills are stopped, the condition is also known to fade away. When this does not happen, you would need to consult a doctor.
How often do you check for these signs?
You could check your face routinely for any signs. In most cases, you would notice them when you brush in the morning. If this does not work for you, you could check your face at night before you go to bed as well. Remember to spend at least two minutes looking at your face closely so you know if you have any of the signs mentioned here. A healthy face complements a healthy body.
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