New symptom? Red & burning face: Hi not sure if... - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK
110,064 members127,933 posts

New symptom? Red & burning face


Hi not sure if this is a new symptom I'm getting related to my hypothyroidism or low ferritin or low B12 or PA.

My face went really red with burning sensation. I thought it was a new face moisturiser that I'd applied 4 hours earlier, even though a few weeks before I had tried a sample of it and had no reaction, (its from a high street shop that specialises in natural ingredients). However the same thing happened earlier today but this time it couldn't have been the face cream as I was using one I had used for ages with no previous side effects. I haven't changed my cleanser or anything else either.

Anyone ever had anything similar? Do you become more sensitive to things that you previously weren't?

26 Replies

It is possible that it's a sensitivity issue.

I find that I am sensitive to the slightest change in my medication and suffered burning cheeks and ears while I was having my b12 loading injections.

Mind you, there are a number products that I am unable to use now due to sensitivity which is quite annoying as I don't like going grey gracefully.


Hi Racheal272,

I have indeed have this and still do occasionally. I was diagnosed with Rosacea eventually, my biggest mistake though was accepting long term antibiotics to treat it.

They worked at keeping the flares down but I now believe they contributed to my gut issues. In hindsight I wouldn't have taken them or the creams prescribed.

I haven't been able to wear make up for a long time due to allergies and sore eyes.

After some advice from a lovely relative, I ask my dermatologist to refer to a charity called 'Changing Faces'. Some areas in the UK can self refer, it was a bit of a wait for the appointment but eventually I saw a lovely lady who showed me how to apply their camouflage make up . When she found the correct colour, she wrote me a note for my GP to write me a prescription for it. The prescription can just be repeated when the items are used up. I found out after it can be purchased online from a company called VEIL. I'm glad I saw her though because she did a proper colour match + I get free prescriptions and every little helps.

Also if this is what you have certain foods and heat can aggravate it, strawberries, tomatoes and to much spice. Also if I am in the heat too long I glow red.

All the best xxx

Barrister in reply to Hidden

Same with me, but I've found that the antibiotic cream has been fine. I too have gut issues ( lymphocytic colitis) but this is another auto immune disorder and I know that anti inflammatories cause that to flare. Clemmie

Allyson1 in reply to Hidden

I think tomatoes give me pimples/rash too...I was hypothyroid and very low in b12 and my skin was getting crepey at 30, then a naturopath gave me methylfolate and methylcobalamin, and I developed cystic acne. Then she gave me iodine and I developed a full face bubbled rash and hyperthyroidism. Now my face is scarred, dry, brittle, and reacts to everything.

Hidden in reply to Allyson1

Bless you Allyson, if you are in the UK why don't you try the Changing Faces people? I have sensitive skin and eyes but the Veil camouflage products do not affect me at all. This is used for people with severe scarring to their faces. They even make a product that hides tattoos.

Take a look at the Changing Faces website and see if you can self refer, otherwise your GP or Dermatologist can refer you.


Allyson1 in reply to Hidden

Thank you:) I am in the US but I'll look.:)

Hi Rachael272... I hd this before Xmas (2015)...... But it was my forehead & my eye lids, very itchy & sore.....I know i havent changed my face cream & thought it could have been my hairspray ect........chopped & changed things, but it made no difference.....if the problem had been anywhere else on my body, i would not have made the trip to my GP, who was sympathetic in listening to what I thought it was......My Thyroid, she could only tell me it was a possibility.....& I told her, my skin may benefit from a Low Dose Steroid Cream, which I duly got.......was told if that didnt clear the problem, to go back & see her again.........It eyes breathed a sigh of relief.......I still get the problem.......but now I am armed with the cream & put a little on, when i feel it starting........but up till now...I have no real idea, what is the culprit or cause!!!

Hi, the exact same thing has happened to me recently. I thought it was new cream, but I stopped and the red, burning face didn't. Mine seems worse earlier in the day and eases somewhat by the evening. It is my cheeks, nose and under my chin a little, also the creases of my eye are red and a bit sore. It feels hot and very dry. Unfortunately I don't know the reason for this although I am personally linking it with my recently diagnosed thyroid problems. I had a similar experience a few years ago when I started taking licorice root to support my adrenal glands. The same happened then but I stopped the licorice and the problem disappeared. Sorry I can't be of any help in solving your problem, but it's always good to know you're not the only one suffering with a problem.

I think you could be prescribing perioral dermatitis?

Yes I had this, it started years ago. I put my usual moisturiser on then went outside to hang the washing on the line and my face started burning. Washed the moisturiser off and tried again but it continued. When I finally went to the doctor he said I had Rosacea and gave me some antibiotic cream which worked well. But since then my face has been particularly sensitive and I have tried many different moisturisers. I now use Clarins. I started off with their sensitive one which is supposed to help reduce sensitivity, and now I use one of their other moisturisers. When my face starts to flare, I use the antibiotic cream and go back to the sensitive moisturiser. Clemmie

I get this all the time, mostly evenings, I use E45 moisturiser . I did ask a pharmacist once but she didn't know what it was or what is causing it.

When a burning sesation is present, it appears more likely to be a sensitivity issue of some sort. Nevertheless, other causes are possible. Do you have lung disease? Plethora is a common sign in pulmonary congestion.

Hope you don't have any lung problems, you have enough to deal with.

Take care


Rett713 in reply to Granny56

Hope I don't have lung problems as well. I have mild asthma and sometimes shortness of breath but think that down to being B12 deficient.

Granny56 in reply to Rett713

I hope you don't either but like me you have a complex array of diagnosis so don't rule anything out. If in doubt ask the doctor to check you over. One can never be too careful.

Hi Rachael,

I have this if I take too much NDT, or the tiniest amount of Thyro-Gold. It feels like sun/wind burn, & my skin feels very tight.

I also have really sensitive skin, so I only apply stuff that I know I won't react to.


Thanks for all the advice and comments, having a think what is best to do about it at the moment as got so many other things not sure if I want to risk anti biotics until I know whether I've got Autoimmune gastritis. Going off track a bit but I just spoke to the Pernicious Anaemia society and they say with the antibody test being both positive and all my symptoms I've definitely got it and they have advised me what to tell/say to my GP tommorow so hopefully will start to get somewhere.

I have had this problem since last May. I have stopped using Clarins green cleanser which I used for years and it has been better especially since November. This week it has flared again. I have seen a dermatologist and had various blood tests for lupus etc which I think must be negative as I haven't heard anything. I was given all sorts of creams which helped but it has come back again. I have B12 injections every three months as I have pernicious anaemia and I'm on 125 levo. I am having allergy tests at Broomfield hospital in Chelmsford next week So will keep you posted. Could this be something to do with thyroid? I wish I knew.

Rett713 in reply to Tyna20

My Mum has lupus, I've been tested in past but came back negative, but will keep an eye on it. Only advice I can give is don't assume your blood tests are okay, make sure you get the results/lab report and check yourself. I was told by my GP in 2012 that my B12 might be low and they would do blood test to see if I needed B12 injections, (he told me that simplistically). When I asked about the results he said they all were fine and normal and didn't need B12. However this week I got hold of my medical records and found the results and they are far from normal. I tested positive for Anti Gastric Parietal cell Antibodies and Anti Intrinsic Factor Antibodies so have PA and have been fobbed off by GPs and consultants for past 3 years with increasing neurological symptoms which I've just been told could be irreversible.

Good luck with your allergy tests. Shouldn't be this difficult to get diagnosed and treated should it.

I have a red face for a while nearly every day. If I have a day when I don't take any of my supplements I don't have the problem, so it is obviously caused by one of them. I've never bothered to work out which one it is, although I suppose I should. My main suspect is an ingredient in my B Complex.

Niacin (vitamin B3) gives people a facial flush, and it is found in many B Complex products.

That's interesting as have recently started taking B complex. Maybe I should stop for a while hard to know as has only happened twice so far it's not everyday. But I certainly don't want yet another symptom to take hold have enough trouble with the ones I've already got!

I wasn't expecting so many people to have had similar problems as never heard of it before.

Hi Rachael have you got hashimotos? I have this every time I have a flare , red and burning face . I put it down to antibodies attacking thyroid gland .

Rett713 in reply to Jaybrooke

You know I don't think I've ever been tested for thyroid antibodies. It's on my list of things to ask for at next Endo appointment. I was going to ask GP but think I've got enough stuff with B12 etc to go through with GP tomorrow didn't want to detract from that.

In your experience is it easy to get GPs/Endos to agree to test you? Seems bizarre that everyone isn't tested when first diagnosed as hypo.

I don't know how long you have been ill but I would pop the peroxidase and antithyroglobulin tests question in tomorrow with GP as all my research shows hashimotos is the biggest cause of hypothyroidism . In my experience it is nigh impossible to get GP s and endos to agree to tests or to go beyond the TSH and T4 bloods and even when you get them and these tests come back from the lab normal you are told time and again nothing wrong connected to your gland !!!! I had all the awful symptoms of thyroid disease but not one doctor or endo would give me a trial of thyroxine they stick rigidly to TSH and T4 and normal result is no treatment . It took years and years and me sitting in the GP s saying 'I am not moving out of this surgery until you test for antibodies and a thyroid ultrasound ' and she actually agreed . Test showed my thyroid was shriveled and inflamed so diagnosed with autoimmune thyroiditis ( hashimotos) . Long story cut short but as there s nothing much to be done about the autoimmune disease just treatment for the hypothyroidism I still get the flares off and on and this is when I get the red face and burning sensation .Jay

Thanks for info. I was going to look up if there is any benefit in knowing cause of being hypo i.e. hashimotos as seems treatment is the same T4/T3/NDT. Personally I'd like to know but don't know if it has any other implications other than if it's classed as autoimmune they might take you more seriously if you think you have other autoimmune conditions. If there is a benefit and GP/Endo won't test I'd consider having done privately.

Have you ever noticed anything that causes your flare ups? A naturopath has suggested that you can do yoga specific to helping your thyroid.

I've had various blood tests/markers or whatever they are called for inflammation that have been raised pretty much all the time since 2012 and GPs have never been able to explain this. Seems if they run further tests that come back negative they just ignored the first lot of blood test results. CRP is one but have others as well which can't remember top of head. Still going through all my medical records as they aren't exactly easy to go through, I've been at 5 surgeries and all record things differently.

Yes, every night. I took pictures with my phone, it looks like a Lupus rash. My doc thanked me for taking the pic. She had new bloods drawn. 8 things came back low and 1 too high. I go in on the 7th to see the Nurse Practioner about my low red blood cells, Ferritn, T-3, T-4, iron, and other stuff. She will bump up my meds after discussing my labs with doc. She is a rheumatologist, and takes so long with each patient.

Hi Rachel Labs won't do antibodies tests if your blood tests prove you have hypo because as you say the treatment is the same . Myself I was never diagnosed with hypo because all my blood tests were always normal so was never treated it was years later that I found out that if you have hashimotos blood tests will almost always come back normal until your gland is so damaged or completely destroyed by antibodies attacking it! Dr and researcher John Lowe states ' the first blood test if you have symptoms of hypo should be the antibodies test ' I was relieved to have a definite diagnosis of hashi as I had been told year after year there was nothing wrong connected to my thyroid was always told normal blood tests prove it , I was told its all in your head there's nothing wrong with you your imagining things and your just depressed!! Perhaps the tests showing lnflamation that you have had last 2or3 years that haven't had an answer for , might be because you have hashimotos which as you know is an autoimmune disease causing swelling and inflamation of the thyroid gland ?? May be worth looking into or suggesting it to your GP as you say even for your own self just to know . Jay

You may also like...