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.

Myupchar December 18, 2019 16:24:54 IST
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Puffy face, itchy ears and 7 other signs of ill health that show on your face

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:

Puffy face itchy ears and 7 other signs of ill health that show on your face

Representational image. Image source: Getty Images.

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.

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