Your Face, Your Health pt. 1

It’s been said that your eyes are the window to the soul. Your face is also a window. Sometimes looking into the mirror may show something surprising. This blog post is designed to cover some of the many health symptoms that can show up on your face.

Yellow Skin, Yellow Eyes

Jaundice can indicate a viral infection like mononucleosis or hepatitis. If the infection is short-term, it is usually accompanied by other signs like fever, chills, and other flu-like symptoms. Jaundice can also signal problems with your pancreas, gallbladder, or liver. These include gallstones and pancreatitis. It may also be a sign of alcohol abuse.

Moles

Moles are spots or raised bumps of pigment on your skin. They are usually harmless, but unusual moles can indicate skin cancer. Remember ABCDE?

  • Asymmetrical: Is the shape irregular when comparing one side to the other? If you drew a line down the center, do both sides match? If not, it could be cause for concern.
  • Are the edges jagged or do they seem to “bleed” into the surrounding skin?
  • Color: Does the mole have a variety of colors, rather than just one? Cancers can present as various colors, including tan, brown, black, white, red, or even blue.
  • Diameter: Is the diameter of the mole bigger than the tip of a pencil eraser? Larger moles may be cancer.
  • Evolving: Does the spot evolve or change over time? Changes may include color, shape, size, or when a bump begins to crust, itch, or bleed.

Cold Sores

Sometimes a sore is just a sore. But if its around the lips and mouth it could be a cold sore, which is caused by the herpes type 1 virus. Cold sores are very common.

Symptoms of oral herpes are usually mild. However for anyone whose immune system is weak, the symptoms can be more severe and can come on more frequently. There is currently no cure for cold sores.

Cracked Lips

Cracked and chapped lips are common under certain conditions. A cold winter can bring them on, as can a dry environments.  Sometimes cracked lips indicate dehydration, which can cause dizziness, fatigue, and in extreme cases unconsciousness and even death. Cracked lips can also indicate an allergic reaction to medication. If you also have red, inflamed sores in the corners of your mouth as well, your chapped lips could be telling you that you have a condition called  cheilitis, which can be caused by an infection. At other times it may be a sign of eczema, particularly for those who wear dentures.

Butterfly Rash

A butterfly rash is something totally different. Butterfly rashes cover both cheeks, forming the shape of a butterfly. If you spot a rash like this in the mirror, you may have lupus. Lupus is an autoimmune disease. It causes the immune system to attack healthy body tissue. People with lupus often experience stiff and achy joints, fever, and fingers that turn blue when it’s cold.

Where Did That Hair Come From!

It’s not unusual to find hair in strange places as we get older. Older men  find new hair growing in and around their ears, nose, and eyebrows. Aging women may find their facial hair growing coarser, particularly around the lips and on the chin. This hair growth is considered normal. When a young woman begins to develop facial hair, it can sometimes be a sign of a larger problem. Sometimes new facial hair growth is a sign of polycystic ovaries. A condition that affects about 20% of women. Makes pregnancy more difficult and has been linked with a higher risk for high cholesterol and type 2 diabetes.

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