Our body works as a mirror for our health condition, and sometimes we miss out on some signs that show us that something isn’t right with us. Our face, particularly, can point towards many problems, but most of us are oblivious to those signs.
Doctors have come to show that what your face reveals about your health can be of extreme importance. Therefore, we put together a list of signs of disease your skin can reveal, so you can search for those signs on your own and pay attention to what your body is trying to tell you.
#1 – Eye Bags And Puffiness
When your eyes look tired, that can be a sign of chronic allergies, that translates in dilated blood vessels, which causes them to leak.
The skin under your eyes is extra sensitive, and for that reason, puffiness is more likely to happen, as well as the appearance of purple-blue circles, according to Dr. Raj, the co-founder of TULA, the famous skincare company.
Sleep apnea or hypothyroidism can also be what is causing your eyes to be puffy, but the second one would be accompanied by a series of other factors that you would be more likely to pay attention to.
Of course, it is important to get rid of puffiness or to remove those dark circles, but that only takes care of the aesthetic side of those skin problems. Listen to your body and see a doctor, as it is important to get to the root of the problem.
#2 – Soft Yellow Spots On Eyelids
These lesions, that can often be referred to as xanthelasma, are found on patients that have high cholesterol, which can represent a higher risk of heart disease. Many studies have pointed out that people who presented this skin condition also had higher BMIs as well as higher levels of cholesterol – which increases the chances of a cardiac event. This is an exceptionally delicate situation that should require your maximum attention.
#3 – Facial Asymmetry
Doctor Leana Wen works as an emergency physician at George Washington University and is a strong advocate when it comes to paying attention to early signs of disease.
The doctor says patients will often describe this event with the sentence “I looked in the mirror and my face looked different”, this alone should be enough to take you to the hospital.
You may also notice that one half of your face feels numb, that you can’t fully smile, or even that you are having trouble speaking.
As for the rest of your body, your limbs might feel weak. If any of those signs manifest, try to search for medical assistance as soon as possible. Asymmetry can also be a sign of Bell’s Palsy, but it’s better to rule out the possibility of it being a stroke before looking into other possible causes.
The most important thing to keep in mind when noticing a sign of stroke is that you have to act fast and get your diagnosis. Do not ignore any strange symptoms, they might point out to a more serious condition.
#4 – Discolored Complexion
Sometimes even the smallest changes can be a sign that something is not right. Paleness can be a strong sign of anemia. A yellow skin tone can be a strong indicator of liver disease. If your lips or your nails appear to be blue, that can be a sign of heart or lung disease.
These are some of the things Doctor Malika Marshall, an internist, and pediatrician at Massachusetts General Hospital, points out as subtle signs that can often go unnoticed by every single one of us.
#5 – Rashes and blotches
Allergies, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis or rosacea, as well as some other infections, can trigger facial rashes – but they are not the only causes.
Dr. Raj points out that a lot of digestive problems can manifest through your skin – for example, an autoimmune disorder called celiac disease can show its first signs through the skin, as you will get red bumps or itchy clusters.
Lupus can also manifest itself through the face, with a butterfly-shaped rash that extends across the cheekbones and over the bridge of the nose.
#6 – Hair Loss
Hair loss can be normal, as a healthy person loses about 100 hair strands a day. But when you start losing your eyelashes or your eyebrows, you should start to feel concerned, as it might mean that you are suffering from alopecia areata.
This is also an autoimmune condition, but it affects the hair follicles. Studies have shown that the disease can be limited to certain parts of the body, but there is also a possibility that it will affect the whole body. Unfortunately, a cure hasn’t been found for this condition, even though the hair can grow back in some cases.
#7 – New Moles
The vast majority of moles aren’t usually a cause for concern, but some moles can bare important information about skin diseases. If the mole has an unusual shape or presents more than one color, you should pay a visit to a dermatologist. It might be nothing, but it might also be a sign of skin cancer, internal disease, or even a genetic syndrome.
#8 – Dry flaky skin or lips
Roshini Raj, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the NYU School of Medicine, says that dry skin can be a common warning of dehydration, but it can also indicate a more serious health condition, such as hypothyroidism or diabetes.
Additional signs of hypothyroidism include weight gain, exhaustion, feeling cold or, as we mentioned previously, puffy eyes or dark circles.
People with diabetes present symptoms such as frequent urination and blurry vision. Psoriasis, dermatitis, eczema or allergic drug reactions are other diseases that can manifest through a skin disorder symptom like flaky skin.
#9 – Excess facial hair
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), a hormone imbalance in which male hormone levels are elevated, is often associated with unwanted facial hair, that appears excessively along the jawline, chin, and upper lip.
But even though this disease affects millions of women of childbearing age, you shouldn’t assume the worst – sometimes that excess facial hair might just be a trait you inherited.
#10 – Receding chin
Sleep apnea can manifest through traits like a thick neck or a small jaw, but a receding chin can also be a sign of that disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops for ten or more seconds during your sleep.
If you snore loudly, get morning headaches or feel extremely tired during the day, you should consider getting tested.