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What Are the Most Common Causes of Facial Rashes?

Facial rashes can arise from various triggers, including allergic reactions, skin conditions like eczema, infections, and even stress. Environmental factors such as extreme weather or pollutants also play a role. Understanding your skin's needs and irritants is key to prevention. Have you considered what everyday factors might be affecting your skin's health? Join us as we uncover more.
Lainie Petersen
Lainie Petersen

Common causes of facial rashes include environmental factors; hormones; and exposure to certain chemicals, medicines, or foods. In some cases, the redness can also be caused by a chronic or acute health condition, such as psoriasis, lupus, or shingles. Stress can also play a role in the development of facial rashes or aggravate the intensity of a rash in people who suffer from conditions such as rosacea or hives. Those who suffer from facial rashes should seek a diagnosis from a medical professional, as some facial rashes will not go away on their own and may be symptoms of a serious medical condition.

The skin on the face is delicate and, because it is almost constantly exposed, can easily be affected by temperature changes, sun and wind exposure, and the use of cosmetics. Contact dermatitis is a condition in which the skin develops a rash in response to contact with various types of irritants. Many people find that they are sensitive to ingredients in skin care products, for example, and find that their facial inflammation dissipates after they stop using the products to which they are allergic. Sun exposure can also contribute to sunburn, a common cause of facial redness, but it may also make some inflammatory skin conditions, such as rosacea, worse.

Harsh skin care products can cause facial rashes.
Harsh skin care products can cause facial rashes.

In some cases, a person may have a skin condition that manifests as a facial rash. The cause of rosacea isn’t well understood, but its facial rashes can be triggered by the use of harsh skin care products, exercise, and exposure to extreme temperatures. Many individuals with rosacea also claim that stress and the consumption of certain foods, such as avocados, chocolate, or chili peppers, increases the risk and intensity of flare-ups. Other conditions, such as acne or seborrheic dermatitis, also cause facial rashes and are generally regarded as hormonal conditions, although acne can be aggravated by the use of irritating skin care products.

Acne can cause facial rashes.
Acne can cause facial rashes.

In some cases, a facial rash may indicate the presence of infection or disease. Chicken pox, measles, and shingles can all cause facial rashes that can be quite painful. Individuals who suffer from lupus, an autoimmune disease, sometimes develop a characteristic butterfly-shaped rash across the bridge of the nose and cheeks. While there are often ways that these rashes can be treated to minimize their appearance and any accompanying discomfort, it may also be necessary to provide treatment for the medical conditions that cause them.

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Discussion Comments


I had no idea that food intolerances and food allergies can cause a facial rash. I found out the hard way when I ate a slice of cantaloupe and got a rash all over my face. It was so itchy, I was dying to scratch it. My doctor told me to put a corticosteroid cream on it which is actually available over the counter. That was the only thing that relieved the itch and made the rash go away.


@ysmina-- Yes, it's happened to me several times. It's an allergic reaction, you must be allergic to an ingredient in the face wash.

I have very sensitive skin and several face products has caused facial rashes. I'm very careful about what I use on my face now. I pick high quality products that are mild and preferably hypoallergenic.

And don't be fooled into thinking that products with natural ingredients can't cause rashes, they can. For example, I'm allergic to tea tree oil and can't use any product that contains it.


Has anyone developed a rash after using a face product like a face wash?

I just started using a new face wash and today I woke up with a red rash on my face. It must be the face wash, right?

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    • Harsh skin care products can cause facial rashes.
      By: picsfive
      Harsh skin care products can cause facial rashes.
    • Acne can cause facial rashes.
      By: badmanproduction
      Acne can cause facial rashes.
    • The shingles virus causes a painful rash on the skin.
      By: Angel Simon
      The shingles virus causes a painful rash on the skin.