Persistent facial erythema

Understanding Persistent Facial Erythema

Persistent facial erythema is a skin condition characterized by an unexplainable redness of the face. It is commonly seen in adults, typically women, aged 30 to 50 years. The condition affects the central facial area with symmetrical demarcated redness that is fixed in its location. Although it is seen on the face, it is actually not caused by any form of skin inflammation, but instead by a number of underlying medical issues. Natural changes in skin pigmentation due to aging or sun damage cannot be confused with this condition and must be evaluated individually.

The most common causes of persistent facial erythema are rosacea, chronic sun exposure, peri-oral dermatological conditions, or flushing episodes, as well as endocrine, immunologic, or vascular causes. Although persistent facial erythema can affect adults of any age, it is most common in women aged 30 to 50 years.

Signs and Symptoms of Persistent Facial Erythema

The signs and symptoms of persistent facial erythema typically include redness in the central facial area (from the temples to the level of the lower jaw). This redness can vary in intensity from hardly noticeable to bright red. It is usually symmetrical and usually does not itch or burn, although some people might experience burning sensations and tingling sensations in the affected area.

In most cases, the redness caused by this condition is fixed in location and does not spread to other facial areas. However, some people might also experience reddening of the ears, neck, chest, or back. In addition to redness, some people also experience facial swelling, especially in the lower eyelids area, and a tendency to blush more easily than usual.

Prevention and Treatment of Persistent Facial Erythema

The primary focus of treatment for persistent facial erythema is to treat the underlying cause. Therefore, it is important to first identify the root cause of the condition (e.g. allergy, endocrine disorder, vascular disorder, etc.), then develop a treatment plan accordingly. This might include lifestyle modifications, medications, or even alternative therapies depending on the cause.

In addition, the following self-care measures can help reduce the redness and discomfort associated with this condition:

  • Avoid direct exposure to sunlight as much as possible. If exposure is unavoidable, use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30.
  • Keep the affected area moisturized.
  • Avoid using harsh skincare products, such as exfoliants or abrasive scrubs.
  • Avoid hot showers or baths.

If self-care measures do not help to reduce the symptoms of persistent facial erythema, a doctor can recommend topical medications, laser treatments, or dermabrasion to help reduce the visibility of redness.