When you talk with your doctor face-to-face during an appointment, there’s a lot more going on than you might realize. Your physician doesn’t necessarily have to draw blood or take an X-ray to determine some important factors about your health. Sometimes, they can see the signs of disease written on your face. Here’s what doctors are looking for during an examination.
1. Tired, Puffy Eyes
Tired-looking eyes with bags and puffiness could be a sign of chronic allergies, which can dilate blood vessels and cause them to leak. The skin under your eyes is quite sensitive. Leaky blood vessels create puffiness and cause a dark purple and blue hue. Tired, puffy eyes can also be a sign of hypothyroidism and sleep apnea.
2. Dry, Flaky Lips Or Skin
Dr. Roshini Raj—assistant professor at the NYU School of Medicine—told the Healthy that dry, flaky lips or skin is a common sign of dehydration. But, it can also be a sign of something a bit more serious—hypothyroidism or diabetes.
Other signs of hypothyroidism include weight gain, feeling cold, and fatigue. While other symptoms of diabetes include frequent urination, extreme thirst, and blurry vision.
Dry skin and lips can also be a symptom of eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, or an allergic drug reaction.
3. Rashes And Blotches
According to Dr. Raj, some digestive problems can actually show up on the skin. Most notably, clusters of itchy red bumps could indicate an autoimmune disorder known as celiac disease, where the body reacts to gluten.
A sign of the autoimmune disease lupus is a butterfly-shaped rash across the cheekbones and over the bridge of the nose. Rashes and blotches can also indicate rosacea, eczema, and allergies.
4. Yellow Spots On Eyelids
The soft, yellow spots on eyelids are known in the medical world as xanthelasma, which are cholesterol-filled lesions. This could mean a higher risk of heart disease. In a 2016 study published in Medical Principles and Practice, subjects with xanthelasma had higher cholesterol levels and BMIs. Which automatically puts them at risk for a cardiac event.
5. Facial Asymmetry
Dr. Leana Wen—an emergency physician at George Washington University—told the Healthy that facial asymmetry can be one of the first signs of stroke.
“Patients will often describe it like this: ‘I looked in the mirror, and my face looked different,’” Dr. Wen explained.
Asymmetry can also be a sign of Bell’s Palsy. But stroke should be ruled out first, since the key to treating a stroke is the speed of treatment. A stroke can also present with face numbness, double vision, and weakness in the arms or legs.