Red Skin

Sudden or unusual redness of the skin is usually a signal that there
is something out of the ordinary going on with our skin or, possibly,

There are many reasons why a spot or two of red
skin may develop. Some reasons, such as sun and wind burn, are
predictable and easily avoided.

Other times, red skin occurs
when we least expect it and it can be mystifying, at the least. Red
patches may appear anywhere on the body, with little or no accompanying
pain, but sometimes the pain can be excruciating.

When trauma
is present, red skin may mean it’s time to consult a family physician
or dermatologist to treat the underlying cause of the problem. Poison
ivy exposure, chemical burns, and insect bites all cause redness of the
skin at the point of contact but each requires a different line of

In other cases, red skin is a sign of the aging
process. As we age, the capillaries just beneath the skin lose their
elasticity and can burst, leaving tiny red spots or venous streaks
visible to the naked eye. While sometimes considered unsightly from a
cosmetic perspective, these red spots are not often a need for medical

Food allergies, often called atopic dermatitis, are
frequently the cause for red skin spots that appear on the torso and
upper extremities. The areas of red skin associated with this diagnosis
are often symmetrically distributed across the body and accompanied by
painful itching and burning. Eliminating the aggravating substance from
the diet provides tremendous relief.

Excessive drinking of
alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, smoking tobacco products, and
untreated high blood pressure can cause red skin to develop on the nose
and across the face from cheek to cheek. Avoiding these substances and
getting proper medical care for high blood pressure can often reverse
the degree of red skin when early treatment is sought.

red skin that appears unexpectedly, is painful, or resistant to
personal care remedies should be reported to a physician. This
condition may be just one outward symptom of a deeper, more serious,
underlying condition that warrants medical attention.