It’s easy to overlook things like dull skin or chalk up sallowness and sagging to aging, but in fact, your facial appearance can signal underlying health issues.
Fred G. Fedok, MD, President of the American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery (AAFPRS) shares three signs of health to look out for:
The skin is in many respects the largest organ of the human body and offers a glimpse into the general health of an individual. “The color of skin should be well vascularized and somewhat pink and even toned," shares Dr. Fedok. “In illness skin tones can be sallow and dull, if not frankly yellow.”
Heavy tobacco use can cause these undesirable changes in skin tone and severe sun damage may be indicated by various red and brown blemishes, which may even point to skin cancer.
"The fullness or roundness of the facial soft tissues is generally a youthful and healthy sign,” says Dr. Fedok. In contrast, in illness, dehydration, and undernourishment, the skin can lose its natural vigor and look sunken and sagging.
The eyes can reveal many things about the general health and psychological state about an individual—whether they are well rested or tired, bright and energetic or sad and depressed.
“The eyes may be white and clear or bloodshot or yellow indicating the possibility of minor or serious illness,” adds Dr. Fedok. The animation of one's face while answering questions may similarly reflect aspects of their physical and well as psychological health.