Is Red Face a Sign of High Blood Pressure?
The occurrence of a reddened face is a common finding that is often associated with high blood pressure albeit more erroneously. As the doctors say, “a red face does not always indicate high blood pressure, but one is likely to have a red face if you have high blood pressure more so a rapid rise”.
What Causes a Red Face?
Causes of a reddened face may range from acute events such as allergic reactions, alcohol intake, extreme exercises and high blood pressure to chronic occurrences such as eczema, rosacea and other dermatological conditions. Usually, it presents as patches that begin from the cheeks and spread to other regions. The patches may feel warmer than the rest of the face, itch and at times lead to pruritic injury.
The causative pathway involves acute increase in blood supply to the facial region as this region is supplied by superficial vessels that are easily displayed on the surface compared to other parts of the body. The redness may also arise from inflammatory processes that trigger a need for more blood cells and hence increased blood supply. Both pathways lead to a rise in body temperature as blood acts as the source of the heat. Inflammatory processes are likely to cause itchiness due to the cellular infiltrate and cytokines released from the antigen- antibody reactions.
Dangers of a Red Face
A red face associated with a dermatological condition poses a cosmetic blemish to the patient and this is the most common complaint at presentation. Since the conditions are mostly seen in adolescent period, majority will live with the fear of being the center of interest and discussion hence ending up in social isolation and psychiatric illness such as depression.
Red faces due to inflammatory conditions may be itchy and the itch-scratch cycle leads to development of ulcerative lesions and dermatitis. However, the most dangerous is a red face due to increased blood pressure to the face where persistently high blood pressures lead to blood vessels remodeling and hardening. Atherosclerosis may also occur leading to vascular complications such as chronic hypertension and strokes if none existed before.
What Is The Remedy For A Red Face?
Various treatment modalities exist depending on the causative pathway of the pathology. However, in all states one is encourage to avoid long hours of direct sunlight exposure, avoiding irritant soaps and creams, but instead use pH neutral products and apply moisturizes after washing your face. Above all watch out for facial redness associated with high blood pressure by having your blood pressure checked once you have a red face more so if accompanied by other symptoms of hypertension such as headache and blurring of vision. Also, the activities that are likely to raise your blood pressure such as excessive alcohol intake, extreme exercises, and stressful states should be avoided.
Red face may occur as a result of inflammation, increased blood flow or both and may lead to remodeling of the vessels and complications such as stroke and subcutaneous bleeds. The most important aspect of management is prevention of its occurrence by avoiding irritants as well as avoiding further damage by controlling your blood pressure and the itch-scratch cycle for itchy lesions.
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