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Compliments like “your face radiates health and vitality” or “your skin blooms with youthfulness” associate our physical appearance with our inner health. Such compliments stem from the idea that health is always inside out, and our skin reflects the well-being of internal organs. Bright eyes, radiant skin, and lustrous hair are visible signs that reflect a fully hydrated, vitalized, and physically fit body. 

But what is the connection between your face and internal health? Ancient Chinese medicinal cultures maintain that the human skin is a visually detailed reflection of the body's inner health. Medical science corroborates this claim with extensive research, giving rise to wellness techniques like face mapping to identify health concerns. 

The skin mirrors the body's physical vitality and overall well-being. If you're struggling with a recurrent skin issue, it's likely a symptom of something deeper and more complicated. Let’s see how common issues affecting your face can reveal valuable insight into your inner health. 

  1. Premature signs of aging 

Aging is a perfectly natural experience that transforms our face and skin over time, but premature aging is nothing natural. It happens when your body appears considerably older than your actual age, indicating multiple underlying culprits and symptoms. Excessive exposure to the sun's harsh UV rays can damage skin cells and speed up aging. 

In most cases, premature aging is triggered by unhealthy lifestyles, damaging habits, and environmental factors. People commonly opt for surgical treatments like a facelift to eliminate fine lines and wrinkles – a viable solution for natural aging. But if excessive smoking and a carb-loaded diet are the culprits, it's important to cut back and adopt healthier patterns. 

Nicotine is laced with cell-altering toxins that damage collagen and elastic fibers – the skin's essential building blocks. Lack of collagen compromises firmness and suppleness, resulting in hollow, saggy, and wrinkly skin. Refined carbs and sugar-rich diets lead to premature aging, while antioxidants and proteins reverse fine lines and wrinkles. 

Excessive alcohol consumption can trigger premature aging by damaging and dehydrating the skin. Likewise, a lack of quality sleep can accelerate cell turnover and aging processes. Stress is the biggest, most notorious culprit behind premature aging. 

Anxiety and stress overwhelm the body's natural processes by producing cortisol – a destructive stress hormone. Cortisol inhibits the production of collagen and hyaluronan synthase, two essential substances that maintain plumpness and youthfulness. 

  1. Burning red rashes and scratchy patches 

Burning rashes with raised patches can be discomforting, and in most cases, they carry alarming indications of underlying illnesses. Itchy rashes and blisters that burst open when scratched are signs of dermatitis herpetiformis – a symptom of coeliac disease. 

Other common symptoms of coeliac disease include scratchy rashes, mouth ulcers, and inflammation, and your skin seems too easily bruised. If you notice such a rash, avoid the urge to scratch and consult a dermatologist or physician immediately. You may have other less visible symptoms; a simple biopsy will help ensure a speedy diagnosis. 

  1. Yellowing of the skin 

Yellowing of the skin and striking whiteness of the eyes is commonly associated with jaundice. However, this symptom is an indicator of multiple medical concerns. Jaundice typically happens when red blood cells are loaded with excessive bilirubin – an orange-yellow pigment in human blood. As the liver struggles to filter out bilirubin, it begins to appear on the facial and bodily skin. 

It is important to note that jaundice is also a sign of ailments impairing the liver, like hepatitis. Pancreatic cancer is another plausible explanation for yellowing skin and excess bilirubin. It is also triggered by alcohol-related liver diseases or gallstones that cause blockages in the bile ducts. 

In some cases, certain medications that damage the liver can lead to the yellowing of the skin. It’s crucial to seek medical attention immediately. Blood tests are necessary to examine bilirubin levels and liver function to perform a diagnosis. 

  1. Puffiness and swelling around the eyes 

The puffiness of the eyes is a sign of excessive fluid retention in the area underneath the eyes. This fluid build-up can puff out the eyes, making your face look swollen. Puffy eyes result from unhealthy habits, such as inadequate sleep, damaging makeup products, and excessive salt consumption. 

Harsh cleansers, fragrances, and chemical-laced soaps can also cause puffiness and swelling around the eyes. Sometimes, it is an allergic reaction to a damaging skin product or an unhealthy food item. In other cases, puffiness is caused by hormonal imbalances or an arid, hot, and humid climate.  

Whatever the reason, you can address it by reducing salt consumption, detoxifying, and using natural eye masks. 

  1. Flushing or redness on the face and nose 

The emergence of a deep red rash in the center of the face or nose is widely considered a sign of rosacea. Rashes that blush or flush are also allergic reactions to damaging skincare products, typically affecting sensitive skin types. But if it's painful and flushing, it's most likely a sign of rosacea caused by genetic or environmental factors. 

Anything that exposes the face to heat can trigger rosacea, such as steamy hot showers, UV exposure, or spicy food. Many people experience rosacea-induced rashes due to excessive stress and unhealthy coping mechanism. 

Rosacea isn't harmful, but it is agonizingly painful, particularly when it occurs around the eyes. It can make the eyelids heavy, red, and excessively sore. When it affects the nose, the skin becomes bumpy and unnaturally thick. If you notice these signs, consult a dermatologist immediately. 

  1. Excessive facial hair growth 

Women have varying facial hair growth patterns depending on their genetic makeup, ethnic background, and diet. Generally, excessive hair growth on the body and face is considered Hirsutism. This condition is triggered by hyperandrogenism – an influx of male hormones known as androgens. 

This sudden increase in androgens indicates multiple underlying conditions, such as insulin resistance, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), and obesity. It is pertinent to note that excess facial hair isn't the only symptom of PCOS. Self-diagnosis is unprecedentedly harmful – if you suspect other symptoms, it's wise to consult a doctor. 

Final thoughts 

The face opens a window into the body, reflecting the health of internal organs like the liver, pancreas, and hormonal systems. An influx of hormones or collagen-damaging substances can diminish the beauty and youthfulness of the skin. We often treat such concerns with temporary solutions, failing to address the underlying medical issue. Getting to the bottom of skin issues with relevant tests that facilitate an accurate diagnosis is important.

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