What causes red blotches on the face?

Young woman with Acne Scars
Skin Problems Image Gallery In a few cases, red blotches on the skin might be a sign of a more serious condition. See more pictures of skin problems.
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It's tough to hide red, blotchy skin -- especially when it's on your face. Makeup's a temporary solution, but it's not the perfect fix. Ultimately, your best bet for dealing with these uneven skin issues is to find out what's causing them. There are several different possibilities.

One of the most common reasons for red blotches is a reaction to some type of beauty product that you're using [source: Zamosky]. Try testing your products on the inside of your wrist to see if they are causing an allergic reaction. If nothing happens, an allergy might still be to blame, but it's likely to be something else that you're touching, inhaling or ingesting [sources: Hyde]. If that's the case, it's probably time to see an allergist. In the meantime, try taking an antihistamine to see if the problem goes away.


A sun allergy can also cause red blotches. If you notice that you seem to develop them after spending a day in the sun, you've probably solved the mystery. But keep in mind that some medications, like birth control and antibiotics, can make you break out when combined with sun exposure. If you think this might be what's causing your blotches, make an appointment to see a physician [source: American Academy of Dermatology].

Most of the time, red blotches on your face are just the result of an annoying allergy, but in some cases they might be signs of something more serious. Skin conditions like rosacea and eczema not only produce red blotches, they can make your skin incredibly uncomfortable as well. If your red, blotchy skin seems to be a more of permanent fixture, it's time to pay a visit to the dermatologist for proper treatment [source: Zamosky].

For more information on how to care for your skin, check out the links on the next page.


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Related HowStuffWorks Articles

  • American Academy of Dermatology. "The Sun & Your Skin." 2009. (Accessed 09/02/2009)http://www.aad.org/public/publications/pamphlets/sun_sun.html
  • Hyde, Patrice MD. "Taking Care of Your Skin." KidsHealth. September 2007. (Accessed 09/02/2009)http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/body/skin_care.html
  • Zamosky, Lisa. "The Sensitive Skin Myth." WebMD. February 23, 2009. (Accessed 09/02/2009)http://www.webmd.com/skin-problems-and-treatments/features/the-sensitive-skin-myth