How many times a day do you glance at yourself in the mirror? Whether you’re at home, at the office, or just glimpsing at your reflection while you’re out and about, you probably look at yourself more than you realize.
Many people say that the eyes are the windows to the soul. But the truth is that there’s more that our faces can tell us about ourselves, so the next time you find yourself in front of a mirror, start looking closely.
Our faces may reveal things about us that could turn out to be some worrying signs. Today, we’ve prepared 13 things your face might tell you about your general health, so take heed and start paying attention!
Worrying Sign: Yellowish Skin and Eyes
When the face looking back at you in the mirror looks yellowish or has a slight green tint, it could be a sign of a serious medical condition. The whites of your eyes could also turn this color.
Known as jaundice, this happens when your body breaks down red blood cells, forming bilirubin. This yellow-orange bile pigment is what turns your skin, the whites of your eyes and mucous membranes change colors. In adults, this could signal problems with your gallbladder, pancreas, or liver. It could also be a sign of alcohol abuse, hepatitis, and mononucleosis.
In babies under the age of 38 weeks, jaundice is common and usually harmless since their livers aren’t mature enough to work as they should.
Worrying Sign: Moles
Moles aren’t uncommon, and it’s very unlikely that new moles will appear on your face overnight. But what can these bumps or spots tell you about your health?
Well, for the most part, you have nothing to worry about. However, remembering your ABCDEs is crucial when you’re checking your spots at home.
A – Asymmetrical: Is the shame of your mole different on each side?
B – Border: Is the border of your mole jagged?
C – Color: Is the color of your mole uneven?
D – Diameter: Is your mole larger than a pea?
E – Evolving: Has your mole changed in the past few weeks?
Though these at-home questions can help alleviate some worries about your skin’s health, it’s always important to go in for skin checks, especially if you’re worried about skin cancer. If you answered yes to any of these questions, talk to your doctor!
Worrying Sign: Sores
Sores may appear around your lips and mouth quite frequently. It’s very likely that if you have these, they’re cold sores and are actually pretty harmless. Caused by type 1 herpes virus, most people get them as children on young adults, through saliva, as opposed to contacting the virus through sexual contact.
This virus stays with you even after the sores are gone, which is why they keep returning.
Should you contact your doctor about your sores? Yes, if you have frequent or unusually big outbreaks. In your case, your doctor may prescribe medicine, so give them a call!
Worrying Sign: Cracked Lips
During the winter months, a lot of people get cracked or dry lips regularly. You may be used to slathering on balms in order to help protect them while keeping them moist.
But there can be other reasons behind your dry lips. For example, they could be a response to dehydration. If your body doesn’t have enough water, your lips might start to crack. Also, this reaction could be an allergic reaction to a drug. A lot of people get dry lips after taking steroids, for example.
On top of using a balm, make sure you drink plenty of water, and if you’ve just started taking medication, let your doctor know of any and all side effects you might experience.
Worrying Sign: Butterfly Rash
You’ve probably had a couple of harmless rashes over your lifetime. But there are certain rashes that could turn out to be a huge sign of trouble, such as what is known as a butterfly rash.
This rash spreads over both your cheeks and, as the name suggests, appears in the shape of a butterfly. It’s a common sign of lupus, a disease that causes your immune system to attack your own organs and tissues.
Other symptoms of lupus include achy joints, fever, fingers that turn blue in the cold. If you experience any of these coupled with a butterfly rash, it’s time to call your doctor!
Worrying Sign: Hair in Unusual Places
For a number of people, grooming and upkeep hair might be a hassle. But when hair stars appearing in unusual places, it may become more than a pain to take care of it- your body could be telling you that something’s wrong!
Of course, men experience this as they age and start noticing more stray hairs around their ears and eyebrows. For women, however, stray hairs could appear on the chin.
Younger women who start noticing facial hair early on should talk to their doctors, as these hairs have been linked to polycystic ovary syndrome, a medical condition that can make it more difficult for them to get pregnant.
Worrying Sign: Drooping Eyelid
Drooping eyelids, also known as blepharoptosis or ptosis, can affect one or both of your eyes. In some cases, particularly severe ones, your eyelid may even block your vision. While some people are born with the condition, others develop it over many years- in some cases even over decades.
This condition is often harmless unless it impairs your vision. But you may still want to check with your doctor. Drooping eyelids have been connected to signs of problems with nerves, the brain, and the eye socket.
Other signs to look out for are double vision, or if your drooping eyelid develops over shorter periods of time such as just days or hours. If your muscles are weak, you have a headache or are having difficulties swallowing, these could be the signs of a stroke, so seek medical help immediately.
Worrying Sign: Can’t Move One Side of Your Face
The inability to move part of your body should raise immediate red flags and you should get in contact with a medical professional immediately.
If you suddenly can’t move one side of your face then you may be suffering from Bell’s palsy. This condition happens when a virus or something else presses on a nerve that controls the muscles in your face. The inability to move that side of your face could develop over a couple of hours or a few days.
Though it may be scary or even shocking, it’s usually not that serious of a condition. You could get better between 3 to 6 months. Look out for pain behind your ear or in your jaw, too!
Worrying Sign: Facial Paralysis With Other Symptoms
But facial paralysis could be far, far more dangerous, which is why contacting your doctor quickly is so important. When paired with other symptoms, facial paralysis can be a sign of a stroke which happened when the blood flow is cut off to part of your brain. This could happen when blood vessels burst or get blocked.
If you notice any of these other symptoms, get immediate medical help:
- The lover part of your face is suddenly paralyzed
- Your speech is slurred
- Double vision
- Numbness or weakness in your arms or legs
- You have trouble swallowing
- You feel dizzy
Also, if you notice any of these worrying signs in the people around you, get them medical help!
Worrying Sign: Yellow Spots on Your Eyelids
If you start noticing yellow spots on your upper and lower eyelids, you might initially panic. Known as xanthelasmata, these are actually made out of cholesterol and they’re fairly harmless. They don’t hurt and can be removed easily if you don’t like the look of them.
However, since they are made out of cholesterol, they might indicate your likelihood to get heart disease or suffer from a heart attack.
Now’s a good time to talk to your doctor about potential heart problems, so schedule a physical and make sure your heart is in tip-top shape!
Worrying Sign: Puffy Eyes
Did you know that when the space under your eyes becomes puffy, it’s actually because it has filled up with water? As you age, this may happen more and more often as the muscles that support your eyelids weaken.
However, there are many reasons as to why water might collect there in the first place. Humid or hot weather, a lack of sleep, hormone changes, or too much salty foods could all lead to puffy eyelids.
If your eyes are puffy, itchy, and red, you may also suffer from an allergic reaction to pollen, makeup, food, cleanser, and fragrances. Finally, you could be suffering from an infection like pinkeye which is a worrying sign.
Worrying Sign: Melasma
Did gray-brown patches start appearing on your face? These may be triggered by pregnancy or (somewhat ironically) taking certain birth control pills. The truth is, doctors aren’t 100% sure why this happens.
Melasma is often harmless. The patches disappear on their own after the woman gives birth or if she stops taking the birth control pills. In some cases, they can last for years, though.
Though we aren’t exactly sure why it happens, doctors can prescribe medication in order to help the patches disappear. Chemical peels have also been known to work.
Worrying Sign: Hair Loss
Many people attribute hair loss to aging, but there’s a condition out there known as alopecia areata that can cause your hair to fall out, including your eyelashes and eyebrows.
Your immune system is attacking your hair molecules. There are no treatments that can prevent this from happening, but medication can help your hair grow back. So if you’re noticing more and more hair falling out when you’re brushing, it’s time to talk to your doctor.
If you notice any of these worrying signs, be sure to seek professional help immediately. Did you ever notice any of these things when looking in the mirror? What was your experience? Feel free to leave a comment down below!
If you found this article on worrying signs helpful, you might want to also read: 12 Common Foods You Didn’t Know Had Weird Side Effects