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Causes of my red cheeks - when it's not Rosacea / Killaratosis Pil...
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Causes of my red cheeks - when it's not Rosacea / Killaratosis Pillaris?

[18 Year Old Male]

5ft 10, 172lbs, 8% BF - Just to let you know im not overweight, very active, bodybuild and do not have any other obvious healthproblems.

Hi,

To keep the story short I currently have quite frequent episodes of redness in the cheeks only - this has been occuring since about November 2008 ( I started sixth form in September) and has kind of gotten worse in the sense the redness in the cheeks was at first very vague but has now gotten more prominent. The redness in the cheeks coincided with my first spot(s) which where whiteheads e.t.c commonly associated with puberty i.e 16-18 years old.

Basically the redness is only in my cheeks, not anywhere else on my body and can vary to the extent of how much of the cheek it takes up. There are no bumps on my face or anywhere else and there are also no visible blood vessels or dots of sporadic redness, its more or less a complete area only vaguely fading near the mouth area and near the side burns.

I originally believed this was to do with my regular spicy chicken I used to have at every night-time meal , however I have since stopped that habbit a good year ago as well as completely eradicating salt and dairy from my diet plus more water - to no avail. I then thought it may have something to do with the harsh soap I was using as a cleanser however since changing that I havent really noticed much difference - However... in the summer of this year (2010) I honestly cant remember a flare up or occassion I noticed any redness, I guess my tan covered it up perhaps? I only seem to take note of my redness when I feel flushes or hot which occured alot areound December to March of 2009/2010/2011 - similarily when in a hot room/ class room I used to get very hot (High body temperature?) and would notice my face getting pinker/redder.

I originally though I had Rosacea as it was one of the first results from searching redness/flushing in google however pictures such as this one:
flickrDOTcom/photos/djelpern/15445932/

Seem more common to my experince except my redness is not as bad / dosent extend to the eye brows side of head and dosent have visible capilaries or spots. Further more I workout 2x a day which has increased in intensity and duration from 2008 onwards - although I still worked-out prior to 2008 as well, I also used to tan alot however from 2008 my tanning decreased due to college and overall less personal time.

I would really appreciate some feedback from all you experinced members.

P.s When im cold my redness completely subsides - perhaps I have an allergy, other disease/ eczema? I have not had a formal medical diagnosis as of yet, however I have been to the doctors whereby the asked me to do a uring test which I eventually did not return as my redness kind of subsided at that time (April 2010).

I eat lots of tuna, porridge, rice milk, chicken, eggs and fruit, in addition to omega 3, zinc, multivitamic and water.

ALSO in alot of recent pictures it seems my mouth area - chin to lower cheeks is alot lighter/ whiter than my cheeks / forehead so it strikes a large, noticable contrast in my skin tone. I also do not sweat on my face / have not done since my redness began, leading me to think that my redness is a sign of my face unable to cool itself down.

Here are a few pictures doctor:

img513.imageshack.us/i/2008z.jpg/ ---------- (No Redness) 2008, September
img412.imageshack.us/f/2008veryflushed.jpg/ ---------- (First Redness) 2008, November
img255.imageshack.us/f/2008flushed.jpg/ ---------- (More Redness) 2008, Decemeber
img163.imageshack.us/f/2009v.jpg/ ---------- (Redness) 2009, Summer
img813.imageshack.us/f/2011he.jpg/ ---------- (Redness) 2011, Winter


Thanks in advanced,

J.
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Updated Links:

http://img513.imageshack.us/img513/16/2008z.jpg                        
http://img412.imageshack.us/img412/2485/2008veryflushed.jpg
http://img255.imageshack.us/img255/47/2008flushed.jpg
http://img163.imageshack.us/img163/1857/2009v.jpg
http://img813.imageshack.us/img813/2703/2011he.jpg

1st Pic ---------- (No Redness) 2008, September
2nd Pic ---------- (First Redness) 2008, November
3rd Pic ---------- (More Redness) 2008, Decemeber
4th Pic ---------- (Redness) 2009, Summer
5th Pic ---------- (Redness) 2011, Winter

Regards,
J
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Avatar_m_tn
Dear Joe,

I have had a look at your pics. However I have to say I cannot see anything pathological in the pics and subtle redness is extremely difficult to capture on photos. Regardless if you are otherwise well, the redness you describe is within physiological limits for someone with fair skin. I think you are worrying yourself too much about this. You should probably seek help from a local dermatologist, for reassurance.

Regards

Dr.Sasi Attili
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Avatar_m_tn
Thanks for the response, I know the pictures dont show the severity of the problem - the reason I am concerned is that it appears as if my face is burning up, none of my parents have this problem and it seems when ever there is heat aka classroom, radiator e.t.c my cheeks go red and my face gets overly hot.

One other concern is that I never sweat in my face, could this be why my face goes red? I.e because it isnt sweating and cooling itself down, a tell-tale sigh is that it goes bright red because the heat is not being dissipated?

Thanks,

Joe
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563773_tn?1374250139
Hello,
It does not look like rosacea but can be due to blushing of skin. Blushing is a sudden and involuntary reddening of the face, neck and ears. You can overcome it by psychological counseling with a psychologist/psychiatrist and boosting up your confidence levels. The treatment of severe blushing includes anti anxiety medicines and beta blockers. Severe cases may need endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS).

It is very difficult to precisely confirm a diagnosis without examination and investigations and the answer is based on the medical information provided. For exact diagnosis, you are requested to consult your doctor. I sincerely hope that helps. Take care and please do keep me posted on how you are doing.


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Thankyou for your advice and concern.

Its funny because Ive been having a decent spell this past week or so, then suddenly today when Id just come out of the bath and was laying on my bed with my head slightly raised I began to feel my face redden. I looked in the mirror and it was indeed very red in the cheek area.

Very confused and unhappy as its not Rosacea, or Killaratosis Pillaris as non of the symptoms match my condition other than the red cheeks. Every single picture of me pre September 2008 show me with a normal complexion, now suddenly I have really red cheeks, almost like 'slapped cheeks syndrome' children get.


I will book an appointment to my GP as its really starting to inhibit my life.

Thanks
Joe
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Avatar_m_tn
Due to the fact I dont sweat at all on my face anymore - do you think this could be related to Anhidrosis?

I react very badly to heat / hot enviroments since september 2008, I remember when I used to sweat on my face i.e taste the saltly sweat on upper lip when I was young but now I dont sweat a drop on my face. Is it possible I may be chronically dehydrated?

In addition I stated getting spots, not too bad, but more than I had ever had before once I stopped sweating which I have heard is related to toxin build up which apparantly sweating helps to remove.

Joe
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Im begining to link my redness to a possible allergic reaction - I seem to get very severe reactions after washing my face. Im going to examine the ingrendients in my cleanser and see if my previous soap also used to contain the same ingredients, (the product I was using when my face first started getting red).

Joe
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Avatar_m_tn
Ok basically it has nothing to do with anything Ive been applying to my face. Ive since started moisturising and it has helped, but I still have slight redness, however not covering my cheek fully.

In addition ive started noticing that my skin has been becoming itchy when I get hot i.e would normally sweat, this subsides after about 1-2 mins i.e the itching, but I have an incling it has a connection with the fact I don't sweat and have a a dark redness of the cheeks.

Joe
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Avatar_f_tn
Dear j.
I have been surfing the net for months now trying to find what the red patches on my face are that have developed in the last year.  I'm so glad I ran into your message as I have the exact same symptoms as you! not only the redness but also lack of perspiration from my face especially cheeks, nose and upper lip.  On top of everything I keep getting black spots or patches on my face for no apparent reason.  It looks like melasma but usually that is an effect of too much sun , a burn maybe or chemical peel which I didnt have- also I usually wear spf 20-50 all year round.  I was diagnosed twice with rosacea but the rosacea treatments do not work on me-when I look up close at my cheeks I really cannot see my pores anymore and they seem blocked by something.  That's when I thought I had a mild keratosis pilaris and that would bring about redness and probably lack of sweat? (I have the same on my arms).  One thing I noticed is that the sun helps actually- I moved to a place with really low sunlight hours/intensity and that's when my problems started.  Now I try to be in the sun more and cut back on the sunscreen a bit.  I also noticed that creams with Zinc or titanium oxides (natural sunscreens) help with the redness.  another thing I noticed is that even though I am not that white - I'm of mediterranean decent and always tanned nicely, now I don't.  I just get red.   Very odd- maybe my skin does not produce so much melanin anymore or it's confused ? from all the years of 50+ sunscreen? keep me posted...

Dafne
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Well Id like to quickly update my situation, hopefully some professionals can give me some advice too.

Basically I went to my GP, who is a skin specialist two weeks ago. He examined my skin and said he couldnt see any broken capillaries or any other sign / symptons of rosacea, however due to the redness he said he would start off with prescibing me metrogel to try.

However, when I got home I tried it - nothing happened. The next day I was red all day, as most things I used to put on my face irritated it.

I did this for a week, making a log book of everything I did, I eat e.t.c

I basically found out my flare ups where occuring during bath or washing, however, now here is the very very strange part. As I am an avid fruit eater, I ran out of apples and oranges for a few days as a result of not going to the supermarket, from the day I stopped eating apples and oranges, my flushing completely, and I mean completely stopped. My face feels completely different i.e it is actually cold to touch for the first time in 3 years, working out dosent even cause a flare up, just the usual redness most people get. Bathing / washing my face dont even trigger it, extremes in temperatures dont even affect my face.

I have no idea why this works, but its been two weeks, off metogel and no apples or oranges, its boiling hot in England today and my skin still feels cold to touch.

My only concern is, that as the flushing has stopped, my skins redness has definately decreased but it is still there somewhat. I was wondering, as a result of the constant flushing over the years whether my skin will recover, as I dont have any damage to describe, and whether there is anything I can use to revert my skin back to normal.

Just a quick note, for the last 5 years my apple consumption has increased from 1 a day, to 3/5 a day, 365 days a year, always red apples.

Id like to stress, I dont flush anymore, and I mean never. I know what a flush feels like, the horrible burning tight sensation on your cheeks, well that has completely, 100% stopped. I get hot when doing normal things, but it dosent feel like the same heat. Also Ive started to sweat more on my upper lip, and below the eyes near the top of the nose.

Ive started using the metrogel and it dosent even irritate my skin anymore, im hoping maybe that will reduce the redness further.

The metrogel did make my skin peel initially, and the skin on my cheeks does feel very smooth, but it did nothing for the flushing previously two weeks ago. Ill see what happens now.
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I know it sounds unbelievable, but I didnt change my cleansing, bathing routine at all, I eat a very confined diet so I know for a fact the only things I havent eaten are apples and oranges (its not carbs because I eat a ton of porrige, like 500grams a day).

Also I stopped the metrogel after a week, every day being flushed e.t.c, it only stopped as soon as I stopped eating apples and oranges ( Im almost 99% sure its the apples, but I dont dare eat oranges know).

Ive even eaten grapes since, and they didnt affect me either.
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CAN I ALSO ADD -

When I stretch the skin on my cheeks, i.e move my mouth to the very left of my face so the skin on cheeks is stetched,  the redness on the cheeks completely fades, however when I stop stretching my cheeks it returns. The skin is very smooth, hydrated and not in anyway itching, tight, burning e.t.c

Thanks.
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I am just curious to know how are you doing now? I am having the same problem as you described. Metrogel did not work.Please advice.
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I am also having something very similar to this. Mine actually spans my entire face, except for the skin between my upper eye lids and my eyebrows, and from my lower eye lid to my cheek bones. Essentially, the areas directly around my eyes stays a normal skin tone, (almost in the shape of my sunglasses LOL) but the rest of my face gets bright red when i get it wet. Not only does it get bright red like a horrible sun burn, but my cheeks burn and and the skin feels really tight. Warm water is worse than cold water, and sometimes holding an ice pack to the face after washing it/showering/swimming will bring the redness down. I just recently changed to Neutrogena Naturals Clarifying Cleanser.. so that may have something to do with it. I find that PROEVEN, by Vichy, applied at night before bed, restores my skin tone by morning so i am pretty limited now to only washing my face at night, so i don't have to go out in public looking like i just went bobbing for apples in a tub full of red jello. The extreme redness is only ever on my face, and stops at my jaw line. You can REALLY see the difference between my face tone and my neck tone, and the redness is so intense that no amount of cover up can hide it. How embarrassing!
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Just wanted to throw a quick post here... i found out that my redness was actually coming from the Neutrogena Cleanser as it not only has a ton of nasty chemicals in it, and washing without it does *not* produce the redness.... Also found out there is a class action lawsuit for this very thing in the United States and a TON of people online in forums with the exact same issue, with this particular cleanser. None-the-less, i highly recommend PROEVEN by Vichy for maintaining a healthy skin tone :)
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Avatar_f_tn
I have the same problem here
Classroom heat.  
Red even when I exercise. .
Hard to sweat on face. .
But hey you cannot argue how great it feels afterward the heat has gone and the few minutes you have red-free . .
Make you or break you situation. .
214_381_9333
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey! I think you are just worrying too much. A good amt of blood circulation can result have Red cheeks or even a red face. Nothing to be worried about
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Avatar_f_tn
This is not a "worry". It is actually a very miserable feeling! I find it very frustrating when people give responses as that!

So, I just got another cheek flush, as I did the night before. All I had  was bland chicken grilled, basmati rice, steamed kale and salad. I haven't had salad in several weeks and now both nights I did it is back. Could be the dressing (Annies organic tuscany italian- basically italian and balsamic together.) My guess is the onions tho, which I don't think I've had any in a couple weeks.

My flush comes and goes, sometimes everyday, or sometimes weeks go by without one bit of red. My face seems to flush, as does my body, when something overheats me- inside or out. Someone mentioned body overheating, well I have what I call low grade fevers, often with the rash but often without any rash, ,when I "heat up" too much I have concluded. I say I call it low grade fever b/c technically unless your temp is above 100.4, it is not a fever, simply an "elevated temperature". But I run, on days when I don't have a fever- which is getting rarer and rarer the last year (going on several years now)- in the lower 97s. So when my temp is 99 I feel like I am getting sick, flu-like. i generally spike up to 99.2-100.2 by the end of the day if it's a fever day. I actually had this face flush and "fevery feeling" I used to call it, for a couple years before i actually took my temp a year ago, and realized I did in fact suddenly spike up a couple degrees. So that's one aspect of it.
curious, do you all feel fevery and if so do u ever check?

so the second element- the cheeks bright red feeling like I have an awful sunburn, often seems triggered by the same things as the fevers. Here is what I have noticed: I have gotten either or both at the same time- the fevers and the burning red cheeks- from anything that heats me up too much. I mean ANYthing. I have been taking into account what my environment is like, what food drinks I have, etc, before this happens. All of the above have affected me:
~sitting in a hot house after coming in from the cold, especially in front of a fireplace
~also the dry heat in the car will do it.
~arguments or situations that have gotten me worked up inside, emotional stress in general (often the physical heat in my body is how i know I am emotionally stressed beyond my capacity!)
~ heating pads, hot showers and baths, and drying my hair (mostly the temperature thing, tho the hot showers and hairdrying have def caused the red cheek rash
~Alcohol- I used to drink all the time. Now like clockwork, about 10-15 minutes after having even 3-4 sips of any alcohol (which I just don't anymore), I will spike a couple degrees in temp and my cheeks are as red as tomatoes!
~spicy food
~fruit, particularly citrus for me
~sugar
~too much work too quickly- even rushing around the house to clean up before I head off to work can set me off for the whole morning!

I have mostly cut out all dairy (less goat cheese, and very minimal) and ALL gluten. I am about 85% sugar free, and am down to minimal carbs (2 servings a day- rice or gluten free bread or quinoa). My temp spike and rash have gone down to about 1/4 of what they used to be.
I would suggest keeping a health log for a couple weeks, and I would love to hear if others notice these triggers as well!

Oddly enough, I drink herbal tea religiously, and never does hot tea bother me.

I have noticed, as someone else mentioned, that it is thru about december- march as well!

I would tell anyone, that is having this red rash across the nose connecting the cheeks, or if it is coming on from being outside in the heat (doesn't happen to me), to get a blood test (ANA I believe) for Lupus. The sun affecting the cheeks and the bridge of the rash between- called the "butterfly rash" as that is what your face may look like- are some of the most distinctive signs of Lupus.

( I have severe back pain and other bizarre symptoms so they have done every test in the book on me, with no answers but Fibromyalgia and CFS, degenerative thoracic disc- which NONE are supposed to be anywhere near the intense pain my back stays in)

The one thing I am pretty certain I can say is that this red hot rash, along with my "fevers" are all symptoms of allergic reactions I am having to overstimulating my body.

Good luck and blessings to you all :)
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ps- just stumbled upon this link about gluten- does this kids face look familiar??!

http://whattofeedyourkids.blogspot.com/2008/01/allergic-red-cheeks.html
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Hi, sorry, I do not have a medical degree of any sort however, I think I can help you with this. It is definitely nothing serious, it is just your skin type. It's not like your skin is reacting to the heat, it's just that your skin is very thin, therefore the "blood" flowing beneath shows up more. I hope this helped!

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I have fair skin, too.  All of what you've written sounds completely normal.
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I'm 16 years old and have this exact same problem, never come across someone with such similar circumstances to me. I think that it might just be due to hormonal imbalances and will hopefully just go away with age, as no one else in my family has it. It makes me so self-conscious all the time.

How are you doing now? Is your face finally clear?
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Hello, I am 23 years old, and I have had the red cheeks for as long as I can remember. My doctor told me it was a result of my keratosis pilaris, which I have on my arms. I saw him about these issues when I was about 12 years old. Since then I remember browsing a keratosis pilaris support forum a few years ago and seeing that there are three types of keratosis pilaris. The first was the bumpy skin like I have on my arms and the second was the red face with or without bumps. If it is dry, my cheeks flush, if it is cold, my cheeks flush, if it is hot, my cheeks flush. I've noticed that the flushing isn't nearly as noticeable, if at all, when I have a tan. I have also noticed that certain moisturizers help quite a bit. They have skin calming masks and moisturizers and toners available that can be of some assistance. Things with calamine, azulene, alpha hydroxy acids, and salicylic acid are thing that help me. I know some people aren't okay with wearing makeup, but I have had great success with the green concealers, however that is very temporary. My cheeks are prone to being dryer than the rest of my face and the redness will be worse if they are not properly moisturized. Staying properly hydrated will help to a certain degree as will humidifyers. I am in southern Louisiana and I would think that the humidity here would be enough, but I am sadly mistaken. Also coconut oil as a cheek cleanser helps. I wouldn't recommend it for the rest of your face if you have combination skin like I do. Oil pulling with coconut oil seems to help slightly too. Basically you take a big spoonful of oil and swish it around in your mouth and throat for 15-20 minutes and then spit it in the trash (coconut oil hardens when cold so not down the drain). That also helps clean your gums, freshen your breath, help with ulcers, acne, remove impurities from the rest of your body apparently, so it cannot hurt.  I hope some of this helps someone. It ***** being the only person in your life like this.
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Avatar_m_tn
Hello all, small update regarding the current situation.

Still have found no direct cause and effect for this condition. I have been to the doctors regarding a blood test, and they found no abnormalities.

Recently, the last few months or so, I have developed folliculitis ( I believe) on both legs, mainly the thigh areas. I understand this is a yeast infection related to Staph bacteria. I have another doctors appointment booked, so hopefully I can clear this up, perhaps there is some correlation between an infection I have been carrying for all these years or not.

I work outside all day, doing labor intensive work now and still have found no genuine link to what causes my redness / facial tension and heat. Occasionally I can wake up, do 2 hours of vigorous heavy weight lifting, get a hot shower, and then go to work in the cold and have absolutely no adverse reaction of flushing. Alternatively some days I can wake up bright red, and nothing will make it go away. Sometimes I can work in the heat fine, other times my face will go red and tight.

My only slight link is that I have often found, the less I eat, the less redness. I eat a very high carbohydrate diet, lots of Pastas, Oats and wheat. I have never looked into the Gluten free link, however I will definitely consider it now.

My only other hope is that I possible have some form of bacterial / fungal infection whereby I can take some form of anti-biotic and all will be well, that is the hope anyway.

I might even try taking a few pro-biotic tablets to re balance the good and bad bacteria in my gut to see if that changes the circumstances.

Thanks all,

Jp.
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I have had the exact same symptoms dimeface4 described – red cheeks that are warm/hot to the touch with normal complexion around the eyes (like I was wearing sunglasses and burned my cheeks).  My symptoms come and go – sometimes I look fairly normal and other times I look sunburned (so much so that people ask if I had been in the sun).  I notice that when I am in a colder environment (e.g., 40 -50 degrees F) the redness always appears.  I asked my doctor about the redness and he said it was nothing to worry about – I’m going to see a dermatologist and see if he has any input.  

J1992 - I found your comments regarding apples interesting.  I have been eating an apple every day since I was in my late teens (I’m now 49).  Within the last two years I have gone to 2 apples a day and an orange a day.  I’m also big on spicy foods.  Since you still seem to have your symptoms, I’m guessing you ruled out fruit as a cause (??)
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Joe look at low FODMAP diet...gluten, lactose & fructose free diet. Apples are very high in fructose. You can google it & see if the list of 'foods to avoid' are your triggers. It is much better to stop feeding the bacteria than to kill them off with antibiotics-that just causes another imbalance. I hope that helps. It has literally changed my life.
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Avatar_m_tn
Have you figured out what this is?> I have developed the exact same thing you are describing -its been 4 months for me. I dont know what to do. thanks for any advice. I do work out. I tend to notice the red 'rash' maybe even circular mark on my cheeks only. They are more prominent after i wash my face or shower in the morning.
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