6 things your face could be saying about your health

picture of a woman looking at herself in a mirror


You look in the mirror every day. What do you see? Is your face trying to tell you something?

Your face is one of the most important parts of your body. It expresses a full range of emotions, reveals parts of your history and even communicates unspoken language. Your face is almost always exposed to the environment and is one of the first places to show signs of aging.

Changes on your face could mean it’s time to take a closer look at what may be happening beneath your skin. While many facial skin issues are normal and could simply mean that you need to alter your health routine, your skin’s condition could also be the telltale sign of an underlying medical condition.

1. Dry, itchy skin

Many people suffer from dry, itchy skin – especially in the winter. Climate, dry air, very hot showers or harsh cleansing routines are several common culprits. But if you moisturize constantly and still have issues, you may want to consult your provider about eczema. Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition which can cause dry, itchy, inflamed and cracked skin. Immunological, genetic and environmental factors affect its severity. The medications you take and even medical conditions such as diabetes, psoriasis, hypothyroidism and malnutrition can also cause severe dry skin. A lack of certain vitamins such as vitamin A, omega 3, zinc and B complex can also cause dry skin issues.

“Epionce’s Renewal Facial Cream is clinically proven to relieve eczema symptoms,” says Brooke Engeman, esthetician. “The cream replenishes your skin with natural hydrators like meadowfoam extract and safflower seed oil, both rich in fatty acids. It can be used on the body as well as the face. It’s perfect for skin that reacts sensitively to preservatives found in some moisturizers.”

2. Bumpy, spotty or flushing redness on skin

Not all red bumps are acne. A ruddy complexion, redness and dry skin can all be symptoms of rosacea. This chronic skin condition can be caused by environmental factors and is often triggered by the weather, spicy foods, exercise and stress. 

Sudden flushing can be a result of hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause.

Blotchy, red welts on the face can also be caused by hives (triggered by an allergic reaction, stress or illness) or contact dermatitis. Sensitivity to fragrances in moisturizers, cleansers, cosmetics or mixing sun exposure with certain medications can cause contact dermatitis. Rashes on the face from lupus or a blood disorder are possible, but not common.

3. Dark circles, sagging under eyes, puffy eyes

A combination of genetics, age or lifestyle factors can cause dark circles under your eyes. However, dark circles can also be caused by a lack of certain nutrients in your diet, dehydration or lack of sleep. 

Swollen eyes could be caused by allergies or contact dermatitis caused by a facial product you are using that is causing irritation. Fatty deposits on your eyelids could indicate high cholesterol, which puts you at risk for heart disease.

As you age, the fat pads and structural support around your eyes change, causing sagging or drooping. 

“For younger, more refreshed looking eyes, I recommend Teamine Eye Complex by Revision,” says Engeman. “Its ingredients are clinically proven to help reduce the look of fine lines, wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness. It contains hydrators, peptides that boost collagen synthesis, aloe, lavender and caffeine to address puffiness.”

4. Sun spots, age spots, freckles or moles

Are you getting your skin checked on a yearly basis? Experts say you should. Dark spots can be a measure of sun damage you’ve accumulated over your lifetime. Sun-damaged skin can increase your risk for skin cancer. Monitor any changes, from moles and raised lesions to sores that won’t heal.

Those brown or gray-brown patches on the face (melasma) can come from sun exposure, hormone changes or both. The patches usually show up on the forehead, upper lip, cheeks, chin and nose. These are much more common in women, with pregnancy or birth control pills being common triggers. These patches may fade after pregnancy or once you stop taking the pill, but treatments can help. A broad-spectrum sunscreen will keep them from getting darker.

5. Pale or sallow complexion

Missing that youthful glow? Dehydration, dry winter weather and fatigue can cause your skin to look lackluster. Drinking enough water, moisturizing daily and getting enough sleep can improve the look of your skin.

In some cases, pale skin (as well as under eye circles) could be an indication of anemia. If this is the problem, you’ll need to boost your iron intake. Your complexion can also be affected by a lack of healthy fats in your diet.

“Adding a nightly retinol product to your regimen will brighten your skin and will also help to refine pores, smooth skin texture, improve the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, stimulate collagen production and offers so many other benefits,” says Engeman. “Retinol Skin Brightener from ZO Skin Health is a great brightening product. Vitamin C is very effective at fading discoloration as well. My favorite is Revision’s C+ Correcting Complex.”

6. Cracked, scaling or fissured lips

Licking your lips in the winter, cracked lips or painful sores in the corners of your mouth can indicate a vitamin B deficiency. If you’ve been tested and this is the case, a simple supplement may help.

Painful cracks in the corners of your mouth can be caused by an easily treatable fungal infection called perlèche, which may be associated with a vitamin deficiency or even a chronic illness.

How to combat common skin issues

An easy way to get started on a treatment plan for your skin care needs is to schedule an appointment with one of our estheticians. They may recommend products, peels or other treatments to help you combat your concerns.

One treatment great for all skin types is the HydraFacial MD® – a hydradermabrasion facial procedure that cleanses, exfoliates, extracts, hydrates and replenishes the skin with antioxidants, peptides and hyaluronic acid.

“The HydraFacial MD is one of my absolute favorite treatments to give my clients because it’s so effective. You see the difference immediately!” Engeman says. “It exfoliates, extracts, hydrates and gives you antioxidant protection, along with many other delicious ingredients your skin will thank you for.”

Other options to consider

Many noninvasive or minimally invasive efforts can make a big difference in appearance. These types of services range from daily skin care product regimens and peels, to Botox, Dysport, facial fillers or laser services like skin tightening. At Dreams MedSpa, we have licensed nurses and estheticians that can evaluate your skin and develop a product or treatment plan that addresses your changing concerns.

If you are seeking surgical options, like facelift, eyelid surgery or brow lift, our physicians at Village Pointe Aesthetic Surgery offer cosmetic consultations.

To schedule an appointment with any of our providers at Village Pointe Health Center Aesthetic Surgery | Dreams MedSpa, give us a call at 402.596.4000.