Four Causes of Redness in the Face 

Photo of author

Facial redness isn’t usually serious, but it can be annoying. You may be tired of explaining that no, you’re not shy or embarrassed. And nobody enjoys hearing “did you get some sun today?” when they’ve only stepped outside to get the mail. 

However, just because you know what’s not causing your skin’s redness doesn’t mean that you know what is. Possibilities include everything from “alcoholic nose” symptoms to just having sensitive skin. 

The best way to find the cause of your skin’s redness is to talk to a dermatologist. A dermatologist can rule out any serious conditions, and they can help you find the best way to move forward. In the meantime, if you’re dealing with redness in the face, you can learn more about it with the information below. 

Causes of Facial Redness 

One of the most frustrating things about facial redness is that there are so many possible causes. The causes listed below are some of the most common. 

  1. Cool Undertones 

For many people, facial redness occurs because of their undertone, or the color underneath the skin’s surface. Undertones fall into three categories: cool, warm, and neutral. 

Warm undertones include shades such as yellow and peach, cool undertones include pink and red, and neutral undertones match the person’s overall skin color. 

If you have red or pink undertones, your face may be prone to redness, especially if you also have pale skin. Fortunately, this cause of redness is harmless. 

  1. Rosacea 

Rosacea is a skin condition that causes facial redness, especially in the central area of the face. People with rosacea tend to flush easily, and when this happens, the skin may feel warm to the touch. 

Other signs of rosacea include visible blood vessels and red bumps that can be mistaken for acne. 

  1. Certain Medications 

Some medications can heighten the skin’s sensitivity to the sun. These medications may increase the risk of sunburn. Likewise, the sun’s heat can cause temporary redness, even if the person taking the medication doesn’t burn. 

  1. Skin Rashes 

Several skin conditions cause rashes, including: 

  • Eczema 
  • Psoriasis 
  • Shingles 
  • Contact dermatitis 
  • Allergic reactions 

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA), allergic redness tends to clear on its own. Other conditions may require medical treatment. 

What to Do about Facial Redness 

When facial redness doesn’t go away, your best path forward will depend on the cause. 

Choose Gentle Products 

If you have sensitive skin, pay attention to the products that you use on your face. Some products may contain irritants that make redness worse. Look for products that contain gentle ingredients. You can also ask a dermatologist what products they would recommend for your skin. 

Check Medication Side Effects 

If you take medication, including topical medication, read any information that was provided with your prescription. This information may advise that you avoid the sun or wear sun protection. 

Color Correction 

For people who simply have cool undertones, skin redness may not be a health concern. However, if the redness bothers you, you can use color-correcting products. 

Some primers, moisturizers, and concealers come in shades of green. These products are subtle, so they won’t make you look like the Wicked Witch of the West, but they will neutralize red tones. On the color wheel, green is the opposite of red. 

When to See a Doctor 

When concerned about your health, going to the doctor is usually the best choice. Again, some types of facial redness are harmless or will clear on their own. However, the AADA recommends speaking to a dermatologist if redness lasts longer than two weeks. You should also seek medical care if the redness is painful or if you have additional symptoms that are causing concern.