Your face reveals more than just your emotions. Your face can provide important information about your health. A physician will look at your face during their assessment, trying to pick up clues about your health status. The skin on the face can be especially sensitive to stress, allergens, and infections, making your face a general map of your health.
A closer look in the mirror can uncover clues about how well the other parts of your body function. No one knows your face better than you do, so being knowledgeable about what changes to look out for can alert you to any health problems that might arise.
10. Under-Eye Bags
Puffy eyes can be the repercussions of a late night out on the town or genetics. In other cases, however, eye bags can be a sign of chronic allergies. Allergies cause blood vessels to dilate, creating puffiness and a dark blue hue. Some other conditions that can cause under-eye bags are sleep apnea and hypothyroidism.
9. Cracked Lips
Your lips are one of the most sensitive parts of your body, and say a lot about your body’s condition. Dry, cracked lips can indicate dehydration. Evaluate your water intake and check your environment. If you’re in a hot and humid area, or if your air is dry, you may be losing water faster than you’re taking it in.
8. Yellow Spots on Eyelids
If you discover soft, yellow, padded spots on and around your eyelids, there’s nothing to worry about immediately. And if you find them unsightly, a dermatologist can remove them relatively quickly. These yellow spots are cholesterol-filled lesions called xanthelasma, and they could indicate that you are at a higher risk of heart disease. People with xanthelasma have higher levels of cholesterol, which is a risk factor for cardiac problems.
7. Mouth Sores
Sores on and around your lips and mouth can also be a sign of a struggling immune system. If you spot a sore on your lips, the most likely culprit is a cold sore. Cold sores are common and caused by the type 1 herpes virus, which people usually catch as children or young adults. Once you become infected with the virus, you have it for life. It can remain dormant until your immune system loses its strength or you’re under a lot of stress. Cold sores usually go away on their own, but they’re an excellent reminder to take care of yourself and boost your immune system.
6. Excess Facial Hair
If you’re trying to grow a beard, facial hair is a good thing. However, if you’re female, excess facial hair can sign a hormone imbalance. Unwanted facial hair on the jawline, chin, and upper lip is a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS). PCOS, caused by an imbalance of hormones, is a condition that can affect women of childbearing age. For some women, unusually heavy facial hair is an inherited trait and nothing to be concerned about. If the facial hair is excessive, you may want to consult with a physician to see if your hormones are to blame.
5. Facial Hair Loss
We’re all familiar with hair loss on our heads, but did you know you can also lose the hair on your face? Alopecia areata is an autoimmune disorder that causes hair loss throughout the body. In some cases, hair loss remains only in one area of the body, and in others, the hair loss is all over. If your notice that your eyebrows are sparser than usual, and it’s not due to overplucking, it may be alopecia areata.
4. Butterfly-Shaped Rash
A butterfly-shaped rash over your cheeks and nose bridge can be a sign of acute cutaneous lupus (ACLE), an autoimmune disease. ACLE causes inflammation and blood vessels to dilate after exposure to the sun, resulting in the facial rash, called a malar rash. The butterfly shape occurs because those facial areas receive the most sun exposure.
Are you looking paler than usual? Are you also feeling tired? You may be suffering from anemia, a lack of healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen throughout the body, and too little of them can make the body weak. If you suspect you’re anemic, call your doctor for an assessment.
A yellow tinge to your face, especially your eyes, can signify liver issues. Jaundice occurs when too much bilirubin builds up in the body, causing the skin to turn yellow. Bilirubin is a chemical in red blood cells. When the liver isn’t functioning correctly, it can’t get rid of old red blood cells quickly enough. As a result, the bilirubin from these old red blood cells builds up, causing jaundice.
2. A New Mole
Moles are typically harmless. However, take note of new moles and any changes that you might see. An irregularly shaped mole that bleeds, has hair growing out of it, or grows quickly should be seen by a healthcare professional. Consequently, the face receives more sun exposure than the rest of the body. Due to this fact, it’s vital to wear sunscreen and sun protection when outdoors and be vigilant about noting skin changes.
1. Suddenly Asymmetrical
If you notice that one side of your face starts to droop or doesn’t match the other side, get emergency help quickly. A suddenly asymmetrical can be a sign of a stroke. A stroke can cause one side of your face to become numb, droop, and hard to control. If your smile doesn’t look the same on one side of your face, you may be having a stroke. Don’t ignore this critical change, and get assistance quickly.
Next time you look in the mirror, take some time to check yourself closely. You can play a vital role in keeping yourself healthy. Be aware of changes in your appearance. Unlike your doctor, who only evaluates you a few times a year, you see yourself every day. Take control of your health and take note of any changes you can recognize.