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Understanding the Causes and Treatments of a Face Rash

Having an itchy rash anywhere on the body can be uncomfortable. Having a visible rash on your face, however, can be both uncomfortable and embarrassing.

A facial rash can be caused by any number of conditions. Two of the most common skin conditions according to the American Academy of Dermatology – eczema and psoriasis – can cause inflamed rashes that can affect the face.

But these two disorders are not the only causes of facial rashes. Read on to learn about the most common face rash causes and how to treat them.

Contact Allergic Reactions

Our skin is like a sensitive litmus test for everything in our environment. When it comes into contact with something it doesn’t agree with, it lets us know about it by manifesting an angry red rash.

The medical term for it is called contact dermatitis, and it usually happens when skin comes into contact with a chemical substance. It could be a makeup product ingredient, artificial dye, latex, rubber, or the oils found in poisonous plants such as poison ivy.

Usually, the best treatment is to stop using the product that caused the allergic reaction and wash the skin with a gentle cleaner and warm water. Applying an over-the-counter hydrocortisone cream can help take the edge off the itch. Once the irritating substance no longer comes into contact with the skin, the condition should clear up on its own in a few days.

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Non-Contact Allergies

If you’re allergic to certain foods, pets, pollen, and other substances that don’t necessarily touch your skin, you can still break out in a rash. For these types of non-contact allergies, your doctor will recommend an antihistamine to help keep reactions under control.

Some medications can also cause a rash to break out on the face. You may be allergic to certain drugs, or you may have exposed yourself to the sun while using certain medications. In these cases, you may need to cease using the prescription until the rash clears, and your doctor may prescribe a substitute.


Over 35 million Americans including children suffer from eczema. You can think of the condition as contact dermatitis on warp speed. Eczema is caused by a contact allergic reaction but with more severe symptoms.

Again, it can be caused by chemicals such as preservatives, dyes, fragrances, soap, and other irritants. It’s more common in babies and young children as their skin is more sensitive.

The rash can be quite intense, appearing inflamed, red, and may even peel or crack.

The treatment depends upon the severity. It may involve a prescription steroid, antihistamine, and a topical antiseptic.

It’s also advisable to avoid contact with the offending irritant, once it’s been identified.


Many people confuse psoriasis and eczema, but the truth is they have very different causes. While eczema is caused by an outside irritant making contact with the skin, psoriasis is caused by an internal disorder of the immune system.

For a person with a normal functioning immune system, skin cells slough off at a normal rate. But for sufferers of psoriasis, an autoimmune disorder makes the cells build up quickly. This causes red and itchy patches that can appear on any part of the body.

Doctors don’t know what causes the immune system to create the build-up of cells and the disease has no cure. 7.5 million Americans or 2.2% of the country’s population has psoriasis.

Symptoms usually appear when the person is between 15 an 25 years old and can come and go during a person’s lifetime. Sometimes the condition develops into psoriatic arthritis.

While there is currently no cure for psoriasis, there are several treatments that range from natural remedies to prescription medicine. Stress management, ultraviolet light therapy, and steroids may all provide relief. It often requires experimentation to find what works best for each person.


Like psoriasis, rosacea has no known cause or cure, and its symptoms can come and go. It’s characterized by red flare-ups on areas of the face (usually the nose, cheeks, and forehead) that may also develop pus-filled pimples.

There are four sub-categories of rosacea that range from redness to a type of the disease that affects the eye area. Sometimes flare-ups can be associated with consuming alcohol or spicy food. There’s also an intestinal bacteria that may cause rashes and the condition tends to be prevalent in women and people with Scandinavian and Celtic roots.

For treatment, your dermatologist may prescribe cream and oral antibiotics. It’s also helpful for rosacea sufferers to keep a journal to see if there’s any correlation between certain foods and products and flare-ups. You should also use gentle skin care products such as sunscreen for rosacea.


People who have had chickenpox are at risk of developing shingles years later. Its most common symptom is a painful red rash that can show up anywhere on the body, but also on the face. Even just lightly touching the rash can cause excruciating pain.

Sometimes it can spread and affect the eyes, causing sensitivity to light and blurred vision. While most rashes don’t need immediate medical treatment, shingles is considered serious. You should seek urgent care Brooklyn or care in the city closest to you if you suspect you have shingles.

Treatment is necessary to cure shingles. Anti-viral medicine, nerve blockers, corticosteroids, and pain relievers may be prescribed as immediate treatment. This may be followed by creams and patches as symptoms ease.

Know What Causes a Face Rash

There are many different conditions that can cause a face rash. If you are suffering from a facial rash, it’s best to be examined by a doctor so you know what you’re dealing with and what the best course of treatment is.

At Health Style Hub, we love helping to keep our readers healthy with great health and lifestyle-related content. To learn more about how to achieve clear and beautiful skin, be sure to check out all of our skincare posts.

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