Problems tackled: 43,481

DocSpot: Red face

Dear Dr Margaret
I was surprised to find no entry for rosacea on your site. I am keen to find out more about this condition.

We are grateful to get messages like the rosacea query, because we are updating and improving the site all the time and we want suggestions. Rosacea is a condition in which the skin of the face becomes red. It often starts with a few years of flushes, and then the redness becomes more permanent. The good news is that there are effective treatments. We have put a new section on the site about the causes of a red face, so look there for more information about rosacea.
Dear Dr Margaret
I have had some redness and irritation of my face and my doctor thinks it is because I have been spraying perfume. Is that possible? I thought the ingredients of perfumes would have to be tested to make sure that they were safe?
Yes, it is perfectly possible for perfume to cause a skin reaction. For example, an underarm rash is likely to be due to perfume in the deodorant. In an article in the journal Dermatology in Practice, skin specialist Dr Deirdre Buckley explains that there are over 3,000 fragrance chemicals in existence. A perfume may contain up to 300 different fragrance chemicals. Skin tests show that about 8% of women and 7% of men are allergic to fragrance chemicals. Eight fragrance chemicals are particularly likely to cause allergies. The ten top-selling perfumes contain several of these most risky chemicals, and almost all deodorants (especially spray-ons) contain at least one. Anyone with a skin problem should try to avoid perfumed soaps and bath preparations, but this can be difficult. If you look closely at labels you will find that many so-called ‘unscented’ products such as deodorants and soaps contain a ‘masking fragrance’, which is actually a perfume. Many so-called ‘natural ingredient-based’ cosmetics and perfumes contain several of the risky chemicals (including ones that do not occur in nature). Look out for the word ‘parfum’ on the label, which means fragrance chemicals.
Source: Dermatology in Practice 2000: 7(6); 8-10.

And just for fun...

While checking out the websites that I recommend in the Red face section (we never include a link without looking at it, although of course we cannot be responsible for the content of other sites), I happened on a quirky site called Dermatology in the Cinema at Well worth a look if you’re a film buff who is also interested in skin problems. It tells you all the films in which various skin problems appear, and also about film stars with skin problems.

Last updated; Sunday, August 30th 2020

Tell us your thoughts

Did you find what you were looking for?

Add a comment

Please note we cannot answer your questions directly. If you are concerned, please talk to your doctor.

Share your stories, tips and solutions here to help others tackle it, move on. As all comments are moderated, there will be a delay before your comment appears.

Discussion content reflects the view of individual participants only. Health Press Limited bear no responsibility for accuracy of participant comments and will bear no legal liability for discussion results. Comments will be moderated before posting and Health Press Limited reserves the right to delete any material. See About our site for our moderation policy


View what people have said about DocSpot: Red face

Latest updates

Dr Phil's latest video
20th September

Anal itching (itchy bottom);
1st August

Nail biting;
23rd April

Nail problems;
23rd April

Varicose veins;
19th April

29th January

embarrassing problems