Doctors often engage in conversations with their patients to know more about them. While these conversations might look like a rapport-building exercise, in reality, many good doctors are checking facial traits that may reveal vital clues to underlying health conditions. If there is a change in your appearance, you should be worried because it is most likely due to some undiagnosed medical condition.
One of the most common facial signs is dehydration which may signal a more serious problem that affects sweat gland function, such as hypothyroidism or diabetes. Here are 7 other signs that you should be wary about.
1. Soft, Yellow Spots On Eyelids
The appearance of soft, yellow spots which are actually cholesterol-filled lesions occurs when you have a condition called xanthelasmata. These lesions indicate that you may be at a higher risk of heart disease. According to a 2011 Danish study of nearly 13,000 patients, about 4 percent had the spots and that those patients were nearly 70 percent more likely to develop hardening of the arteries and almost 50 percent more likely to have a heart attack over the next few decades than patients without them.
2. Discolored Complexion
Your complexion is a mirror for your health. Even slight changes in color may indicate that something may be wrong. Anemia makes you look pale and a yellow tone could indicate liver disease. A bluish tint in lips or nail beds could indicate heart or lung disease. Be on the watch for these signs.
3. Eye Bags And Puffiness
Do your eyes look puffy and permanently tired? The reason could be more than just too much screen time or lack of sleep. Puffy eyes could be giving away signs of chronic allergies which dilate blood vessels and cause them to leak. Because the skin under your eyes is very sensitive, the leaking creates puffiness and a dark purple-blue hue.
4. Facial Asymmetry
Doctors say that when stroke patients describe their symptoms, they often say that they looked into the mirror and found themselves looking different. Facial asymmetry can be one of the first signs of stroke. You might also notice that one side of your face is numb or feel as if you can’t fully smile. You may also have trouble speaking. Stroke is a serious condition and if you find your friend or family member suddenly slurring when they speak or have trouble holding their balance, call the doctor immediately.
5. Excess Facial Hair
If you have you been noticing excess facial hair lately, it could be more that just your age. Excess facial hair, particularly along the jawline, chin, and upper lip, could be a symptom of polycystic ovary syndrome, a hormone imbalance in which male hormone levels are elevated. This condition affects approximately five million U.S. women of childbearing age. So make an appointment with your doctor instead of your salon.
6. Receding Chin
Sleep apnea is a disorder in which your breathing repeatedly stops for ten seconds or more while you sleep. A receding chin could be a sign of this condition along with other signs like a thick neck and a small jaw. If you snore loudly, get headaches first thing in the morning, or feel excessive fatigue during the day, talk to your doctor about getting tested for sleep apnea.
7. Rashes And Blotches
The health of your skin is also linked to your gut health. Some digestive problems may show up on the skin causing itchy clusters of red bumps which could indicate celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder in which the body reacts to gluten. A butterfly-shaped rash across the cheekbones and over the bridge of the nose can be a sign of lupus, another autoimmune disease. Allergies, eczema and rosacea, and certain infections can also cause facial rashes.