Homemade Solutions for Irritated, Red Facial Skin : Beauty & Skin Care
How to Treat Severely Irritated Facial Skin
Severely irritated facial skin is certainly embarrassing and something you want to get under control quickly, but keep in mind that it can be a sign of something life threatening, particularly if it's related to an allergic reaction or severe toxicity. Therefore, if you experience other serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, extreme nausea or loss of consciousness, then you need to visit the emergency department of the nearest hospital. But if you are feeling fine otherwise, then there are a number of different approaches and remedies available that can effectively combat your severely irritated facial skin.
Determining What The Cause Is
Make an appointment with your family doctor.There are many diseases or conditions that can manifest as a rash or irritation on your face, such as mild allergic reactions, autoimmune disorders (psoriasis), acne outbreaks, severe sunburn, eczema, rosacea, infections, vitamin deficiency or contact dermatitis. Your family doctor will be able to rule out anything serious, but remember they are not skin specialists, so you'll likely need to see a more specialized health professional to get the correct diagnosis.
- Ask your doctor if skin irritation is a common side effect of any medications you may be taking.
- Ask your doctor for a blood test to see if you're too low in vitamin B12 and other B vitamins. A lack of some B vitamins is linked to skin problems.
Get a referral to a dermatologist.Dermatologists are skin specialists who can correctly diagnose skin problems and recommend a variety of treatments such as medicinal creams, acne medications, anti-inflammatories, micro-abrasion or laser therapy.
- Your dermatologist will want to know if skin conditions are common among your family members because genetics play a role with many skin diseases, such as psoriasis.
- Aside from sunburn, getting too much sun is a common trigger for many skin conditions, especially rosacea.
- Estheticians, herbalists, nutritionists, naturopaths and chiropractors may also be good sources of information regarding skin conditions and natural treatments, but it's best to see a medical doctor first.
Get a referral to an allergy specialist.A doctor who specializes in diagnosing allergies is called an allergist. Allergic reactions range from mild to life-threatening, but they typically manifest quickly — within seconds to hours.
- A severe rash on the face that develops quickly is likely hives. If you experience breathing problems, nasal congestion or swelling of the lips and tongue, you need to call 911 or emergency services immediately, as this indicates anaphylaxis, a life-threatening emergency.
- Food allergies are one of the most common allergies to affect the face.Common food allergies include nuts (peanuts), shellfish (shrimp), eggs, cow's milk, fish, wheat, and soy.
Treating With Severe Sunburn
Treat sun poisoning.Sun poisoning is another term for severe sunburn and can cause redness and blistering of the skin as well as dizziness, nausea, dehydration, headache, and pain. If you have sun poisoning, get out of the sun right away. Apply a cold compress to the area, take aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol) to reduce swelling and manage pain, and apply a cooling gel or ointment that contains aloe vera.
- Do not apply ice to the sunburn. You can use a compress soaked in ice water, or take a quick, cool shower or bath. Don't stay in the water too long, as this can cause your skin to try out further.
- Try a 1% over-the-counter cortisone cream for the first few days, which can reduce redness and swelling. Follow the instructions on the container and do not overuse, as this can cause thinning of the skin.
- If your face swells due to sun poisoning or you have severe blistering, see your doctor immediately.
Identify photosensitivity.Sometimes referred to as a sun allergy, people with photosensitivity burn particularly easily or have severe reactions to sun exposure. Just a few moments in the sun may cause a rash if you have this condition. Symptoms include a pink or red skin rash with blotchy blisters, scaly patches, raised spots, itching and burning. If you believe you have photosensitivity, see your doctor for treatment.
- Photosensitivity may be caused by certain medications (including sulfonamides, tetracycline, and thiazide diuretics); exposure to certain chemicals, fragrances, or plants; herbs (including St. John's wort); autoimmune diseases; or a metabolic disorder called porphyria.
Diagnose solar urticaria.This rare condition occurs when the skin swells and develops hives when within minutes of exposure to natural sunlight or UV rays. The rash usually disappears very quickly, often within minutes, once the person gets out of the sun.Preventative care is the best way to treat solar urticaria. Minimize exposure to sun and keep your face protected with a broad-spectrum sunscreen and always wear a hat.
- Oral antihistamines may reduce the reaction, but will not prevent it entirely.
Apply a natural remedy to your sunburned face.There are a variety of natural products in gel, lotion or cream form that can sooth, moisturize and help heal a sunburned face, such as aloe vera gel, vitamin E oil, lavender oil, cucumber-based cream, or a cold compress made from chilled chamomile tea.
- Make a facial mask from thick Greek yogurt — it cools, moisturizes and alkalizes damaged skin.
Protect yourself from the sun.The sun can feel great and offer many health benefits, such as triggering the production of vitamin D, but too much of it at a time will burn your skin and dry it out, resulting in redness, blistering, inflammation, tightness and sensitivity. Protecting yourself with an SPF 30 or higher will help prevent sunburn.
- Wear a wide-brimmed hat when in the sun. T
- Wear clothes made of a light-colored, breathable material.
- Wearing large framed sunglasses may also help because they can cover a greater surface area of your face, as well as protecting your eyes. Make sure they are 100% UV protective.
- Seek shade under a tree, umbrella, etc., if you're outside during a period of high UV radiation.
Dealing With Hives
Avoid known triggers.If your dermatologist and allergist determine that your skin irritation is from a food allergy, then you'll likely have to avoid that type of food.No need to eat poison ivy or poison oak to get a reaction — merely rubbing up against them and then touching your face is enough to cause moderate to severe irritation. Avoid any chemicals, fragrances, or materials that have caused reactions in the past.
- You may have to become more diligent at restaurants in terms of understanding their ingredients and methods of food preparation.
Consider if you've been bitten by an insect.The bites and venom from various insects can cause a severe skin reaction, especially bees, wasps, spiders, scorpions, fire ants and mosquitoes. Also consider if your bed or pillow is infested with bed bugs or mites.
Use laundry detergent labeled “hypoallergenic.”Chemicals such as bleach and solvents can cause severe rashes also (typically called contact dermatitis). If your severe facial irritation developed overnight, then maybe your pillow is the culprit. Rewash your pillow, bedding and clothing with detergents that don't contain any known irritants.
- Washing bedding and clothes in baking soda powder is a safe, inexpensive alternative and won't irritate your skin.
- Irritating chemicals are also found in cosmetics (sodium lauryl sulfate and parabens, for examples), shampoos and hair dyes.
Apply medicated creams to your face.If your rash is due to an allergic reaction, you could opt for over-the-counter hydrocortisone creams (they reduce inflammation and pain) or more natural ones that contain calamine, vitamin E and/or oatmeal (they relieve itching and irritation).If your hives are caused by something other than allergies, you should talk to your doctor about the best and safest way to get relief.
- One of the easiest, quickest and most economical ways to soothe a rash caused by hives, poison ivy or insect bites is to use a cold compress or wrap some ice in a towel.
- Taking oral antihistamines are available over-the-counter and will help reduce the inflammation and puffiness in your face if an allergic reaction is the culprit. Look for low- or non-sedating antihistamines and consult your doctor before use.
- If you have a severe rash, your doctor may prescribe prednisone, a corticosteroid that can be used for short-term treatment.
Keep tabs on your hormones.Hormones, particularly testosterone, play a role in the body's oil production and when too much is produced it clogs skin pores and increases the chance of an acne break-out. Consult your family doctor or dermatologist to determine the best treatment for your skin.
- Women who go on birth control pills often solve their acne problems.
- Though unproven, there is a theory that milk, which contains components related to testosterone, can lead to acne.
Keep your skin clean.A good way to keep excess oil from clogging your pores is to wash it away. Washing also gets rid of dirt and bacteria, which can contribute to acne too. Wash twice daily, as well as after excessive sweating (such as if you've been working out). However, don't overdo it, because too much washing will trigger an over-production of oil to combat dry skin.Always use a moisturizer after cleaning and exfoliating your skin.
- Creams and lotions containing benzoyl peroxide kill bacteria that cause acne.
Try not to pick at your pimples.It may be very tempting to pick or squeeze your pimples in efforts to get rid of them quicker, but you're likely to make your face more inflamed, plus you risk permanently scarring your skin or causing infection. Let you dermatologist or experienced esthetician deal with your pimples, as they are the experts.
Consider a prescription medication.If you have chronic and stubborn acne, your dermatologist may offer you a prescription antibiotic lotion such as clindamycin or erythromycin (or maybe oral antibiotics). Tretinoin (Retin-D) is a medication that helps prevent skin pores from getting clogged, whereas isotretinoin reduces the amount of oil produced.
- The best medical treatment for acne is often a combination of topical and oral medicines.
- Always follow your doctor's directions when taking prescribed medications.
Use a natural remedy on your acne.Numerous natural herbal remedies exist that may help to combat severe acne such as green tea (anti-inflammatory and astringent), lavender oil, chamomile, tea tree oil (antiseptic), or apple cider vinegar.
- Make a honey and oat face mask. Honey is a good antiseptic, whereas oatmeal cleanses, moisturizes, soothes irritation and relieves itchiness.
- Make a bentonite clay mask, which unclogs pores and relieves itchiness.
QuestionI have a rash on my face that I have unsuccessfully tried to treat with hydrocortisone. What else can I do?wikiHow ContributorCommunity AnswerMany different factors, including stress and allergies, can cause facial rashes. Find out whether you are stressed and take steps to alleviate your stress. Make a list of products that you use on your face, and switch them out with hypoallergenic substitutes. Eat a healthy diet if you are not doing so already. If the rash hasn't gone away in a few weeks, check with a doctor.Thanks!
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