Puffy face, itchy ears and 7 other signs of ill health that show on your face
Many health conditions present some signs that are visible on the face and if noticed early, could help in managing the disease in early stages.
Some people wear their emotions on their face - anyone can tell when they’re upset, happy, anxious or ecstatic. But what if we tell you that your face is also the mirror to some serious health conditions that you might be unaware of?
Many health conditions present some signs that are visible on the face and if noticed early, could help in managing the disease in early stages. Here are 9 such signs seen on the face:
1. Darkening of the dangerous area of the face
Sign: Dark pigmentation or greyness around the mouth and nose.
Possible health problem: Cyanosis
Discolouration of the area around the mouth and nose could indicate the lack of oxygen to the body, medically known as cyanosis. Cyanosis can occur due to a lack of haemoglobin in the body. It can be seen in the case of anaemia.
The area from the corners of the mouth to the bridge of the nose, including the nose and upper jaw is considered to be the dangerous area or dangerous triangle of the face as it contains several veins that are linked to the cavernous sinus.
Seven major cranial nerves (nerves of the brain) pass through the cavernous sinus. If anything goes wrong in this region, it could possibly cause damage to all these nerves.
2. Popping eyes
Sign: Extremely sensitive, glossy, bulging eyeballs
Possible health problem: Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is the condition when the thyroid gland produces too much thyroxine hormone. Bulging eyeballs, medically known as exophthalmos, is the classical sign of hyperthyroidism in the body. Other accompanying symptoms are blurred vision, bizarre colour perception and increased sensitivity to heat with sudden weight loss.
3. Thick eyelashes
Sign: Sudden thickening and lengthening of eyelashes (trichomegaly)
Possible health problems: Lupus, atopic dermatitis (eczema) or tuberculosis
Trichomegaly could be genetic, which means it has been passed on through the generations. It can also be seen in people with lupus (an autoimmune disease), eczema (a skin condition) and even tuberculosis.
4. Puffy face
Sign: Puffy face along with other signs like swelling around the eyes, dry skin and thin hair
Possible health problem: Iodine deficiency
Decreased levels of iodine in the body can lead to many serious disorders like goitre, hypothyroidism, cretinism and even mental retardation. One way to increase your iodine levels is by increasing your iodized salt intake by a little.
5. Spots on eyelids
Sign: Soft yellow spots on the eyelids (xanthelasma)
Possible health problem: High cholesterol
Xanthelasma is a sign of high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the body which could possibly lead to heart problems like atherosclerosis. Xanthelasma can also be seen in case of high cholesterol levels due to liver cirrhosis.
6. Itchy ears
Sign: Constant itchiness on both the ears
Possible health problems: Eczema and psoriasis
Eczema is an inflammatory skin condition which is marked with red, itchy scaly rashes.
Psoriasis is a chronic skin condition caused by an overactive immune system which causes early ageing of the cells leading to their flaking, scaling and shedding.
7. Uncontrollable blushing
Sign: Uncontrolled blushing of the face on daily events of life
Possible health problem: Craniofacial hyperhidrosis
Craniofacial hyperhidrosis is a condition where a person sweats a lot from their head and face. They also suffer from unprovoked frequent blushing which could prove to be embarrassing in some situations.
8. Sudden facial hair growth
Sign: Sudden extreme facial hair growth in women
Possible health problem: Polycystic ovary syndrome
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a hormonal disorder seen in women of reproductive age. It may present as irregular menstrual periods or production of excess male hormone (testosterone) in women, leading to abnormal facial hair growth, weight gain and acne.
9. Rashes and bumps on the face
Sign: Itchy red bumps or butterfly-shaped rash on the bridge of the nose further covering both cheeks
Possible health problems: Celiac disease, lupus
Celiac disease is a serious immune reaction of the body to the intake of gluten products like wheat, barley and rye, in the form of damage to the small intestine.
It presents as a cluster of itchy red bumps on the face followed by general symptoms like diarrhoea, vomiting and bloating.
Lupus, on the other hand, is a life-threatening autoimmune disease that means it makes the immune system attacks its own tissues and organs. The butterfly-shaped rash is a classical sign of lupus. People suffering from lupus may also have general symptoms like fever, painful stiff joints, and fingers that turn blue in a chilly environment.
For more information, please read our article on Lupus: Symptoms and Treatment.
Health articles in Firstpost are written by myUpchar.com, India’s first and biggest resource for verified medical information. At myUpchar, researchers and journalists work with doctors to bring you information on all things health.
The information provided here is intended to provide free education about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, treatment, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. If you believe you, your child or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself, your child, or anyone else without proper medical supervision. You acknowledge and agree that neither myUpchar nor firstpost is liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you as a result of the information provided here, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any information provided herein.