Rash on Face – Causes, Treatment

Rash on face

Red spots, scales, nodules or blisters – as varied as the manifestations of a rash on the face are, the causes are just as varied.

What is facial rash?

The technical term for skin symptoms such as nodules, pustules or blisters is efflorescence. The main efflorescences are spots, nodules, knots, wheals , vesicles and pus vesicles . The word efflorescence derives from the Latin efflorescere, which means something like blooming.

In the vernacular, a rash on the face is therefore also referred to as a “blooming face”. Skin inflammation that shows up in the form of various efflorescences is referred to as an exanthema . So if the doctor diagnoses an exanthema, he means a skin rash. Although there are differences, the term eczema is often used synonymously with exanthema.


The causes of a rash on the face are varied. A toxic facial rash is caused by chemical substances and poisons. This group includes skin rashes caused by environmental toxins, chemicals (especially dioxin), plant toxins or drugs.

The allergic skin rash is triggered by an overreaction of the immune system. Common triggers for allergic rashes on the face are cosmetic products. Problem with today’s selection of cosmetics is often over-care of the skin. Perioral dermatitis , also known as “stewardess disease”, is particularly widespread in women . It manifests itself as a blistered rash around the mouth.

Due to constant care with creams, lotions and serums, the skin loses its ability to produce the necessary fats for its own care. The result: dry and scaly skin. As a consequence, those affected often reach for the cream again, which only aggravates the clinical picture.

Numerous bacterial, parasitic, and viral infections also cause facial rashes. Well-known representatives of this group are “childhood diseases” such as measles , scarlet fever or rubella . Other causes are skin diseases such as neurodermatitis , acne or psoriasis . But immune diseases such as lupus erythematosus or malignant diseases such as leukemia can also result in a rash on the face.

diseases with this symptom

Diagnosis & History

A close look at the rash on the face is required to find the cause. Does the rash only appear on the face or are other parts of the body also affected?

Does the rash just stay in the same place or does it wander? Typical of measles, for example, is a rash that starts behind the ears and then spreads over the entire face and body. In the case of rubella, too, the rash starts on the face, while in the case of scarlet fever, the characteristic rash is first found on the thighs and only much later on the face.

What do the individual efflorescences of the rash look like? Is it a question of individual, delimited spots or a widespread rash? Are the skin lesions flat or raised? Are they colorless or red? If there are blisters, are they filled with pus or water? Besides the rash on your face, are there other skin symptoms such as itching , burning or pain ?

Do other symptoms appear in addition to the rash, such as fever , exhaustion , abdominal pain , nausea , vomiting , sore throat or cough ? Depending on the suspicion, blood tests or allergy tests can provide further information.

↳ Further information: Home remedies for skin rashes


Not only does a rash on your face not look pretty, it can also have a variety of causes. You can at least hide the rash in any other part of the body, but on the face? The causes can be very diverse, perhaps a skin cream is not tolerated or something “wrong” was eaten.

Sometimes a rash is also triggered because the skin has been exposed to chemicals or the immune system is overreacting. Especially in women, the rash on the face is often due to cosmetic products, the skin is “over-cared for”. Because by using different creams, the skin can no longer produce its own fats, which it urgently needs. However, if blisters or redness appear, many women resort to creams, which only aggravate the problem.

Skin diseases such as acne or neurodermatitis , for example, can of course also be the cause. Childhood diseases could also be behind it, measles, rubella or scarlet fever also cause skin rashes. Once the doctor has identified the cause, the rash can be treated quickly with an ointment, antibiotics or cortisone . However, if the rash on the face is due to an allergy, the irritation will go away on its own.

However, the patient must no longer come into contact with the drug. Even with infectious diseases, the symptoms disappear on their own, treatment is usually not necessary. The situation is different with psoriasis or neurodermatitis, perhaps light therapy or an ointment containing cortisone will help.

When should you go to the doctor?

The skin in the facial area is particularly frequently and intensively stressed because it is exposed to the environment without protection every day. Sunbeams can lead to noticeable skin reactions in spring or summer, as can wind and cold in winter or autumn. Because of this hardship, the face area tends to develop minor rashes in many people. These are often harmless, so that a doctor does not have to be consulted immediately.

The use of the wrong face cream is often a possible cause, so simply stopping is enough. A balance should therefore be made in deciding whether to seek medical advice for a facial rash. For this purpose, the specific circumstances of the individual case must be taken into account, so that general statements can only be understood as mere guidelines. If in doubt, the consideration should at least be for a visit to the family doctor .

If you have a rash on your face, you should be particularly careful if you have other symptoms. A doctor must be consulted, especially if there are complaints of pain, fever or a general feeling of being unwell. In addition, it is worth going to the family doctor if an existing rash changes or widens. Your GP may refer you to a dermatologist (skin doctor). Care must be taken with children so that a visit to the paediatrician should not be delayed.

Treatment & Therapy

The treatment of the rash is always causal. Allergic and toxic rashes on the face usually go away on their own. It is important to avoid the trigger in the future.

The skin rash that accompanies infectious diseases also disappears as the disease progresses. Depending on the disease, medication such as cortisone or antibiotics can be used to support this. If parasites such as mites are the cause of the skin symptoms, antiparasitics are the drugs of choice.

If the rash is a symptom of a skin disease such as neurodermatitis or psoriasis, treatment is often difficult. Possible therapeutic approaches are light therapy, creams containing cortisone or herbal therapeutics such as evening primrose oil. Daily skin care with moisturizing oils and creams also plays an important role here.

Outlook & Forecast

A rash on the face does not necessarily have to lead to medical complications, nor does it necessarily need to be treated by a doctor. In many cases, the rash on the face occurs due to allergies or intolerances. However, it also disappears again after a few hours or a few days if the responsible ingredient has been completely removed from the body. If the rash on the face does not go away on its own and persists for a long time, a doctor should be consulted.

The rash on the face can also appear as a result of poor personal hygiene or, during puberty , alongside acne. In many cases, the acne and rash will go away on its own without the need for any treatment.

However, if the rash on your face is leading to mental health problems and depression , you should see a doctor. The treatment can be carried out with tablets and creams, an operation is not necessary. In most cases, treatment is successful after just a few days. Whether the rash on your face will go away on its own without treatment depends heavily on the cause of the rash.


Preventing a rash on the face is not always possible. Of course, it is difficult to prevent a skin rash caused by an infection. However, there are vaccinations against many infectious diseases that can cause a rash on the face (eg measles or rubella). Allergic rashes, on the other hand, can be prevented quite easily by strictly avoiding the triggering substance.

But nature also has some remedies that are suitable for preventing a rash on the face. For example, milk and honey or fatty oils such as almond or jojoba oil have a skin-soothing and rash-preventing effect. Regular curd masks or face masks made from oat bran, olive oil and rose water can also help to maintain healthy skin. However, any care should be used and dosed carefully to avoid an overreaction of the skin.

You can do that yourself

A rash on the face can often be decisively improved by consistent facial care in everyday life. In the hustle and bustle of everyday life, those affected often forget to take good care of demanding skin. A good skin cream that suits the skin type should be used in the morning . Regular follow-up creaming is particularly important in the winter months for dry skin. In the evening, the skin must be thoroughly cleaned to remove dirt and grease. Only then is the skin ready for care.

A rash on the face can also be alleviated by consistently avoiding stress factors for the skin. Heating air and cigarette smoke irritate the skin, as does friction from unsuitable materials in scarves and jackets.

In some cases, reducing the use of cosmetics can improve the rash on the face, especially in women. It is advisable to try not to use cosmetics in everyday life, especially at home. If the complexion improves significantly, a general reduction in cosmetic products on the face or the use of new products should be considered.

Regular visits to beauticians should be integrated into everyday life. Skin that is professionally cleaned is less likely to break out.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.