1. PUFFY EYES
These are usually due to insufficient sleep or hormone imbalances. But if you also have swelling in the limbs or abdomen, you may have fluid retention due to a weak heart, an impaired liver or kidney failure, says Dr Wong, a senior family physician.
Puffy eyelids accompanied by lethargy and weight gain may also be symptoms of hypothyroidism (low thyroid hormone levels).
2. DRY, CRACKED LIPS
If drinking more water and applying lip balm don’t do the trick, you may have a vitamin C deficiency, says Dr Wong. If the cracks are at the corners of the mouth and split easily, you may have a fungal infection but the condition can also be a result of taking certain acne medications.
Dr Low, medical director of an aesthetic clinic, adds that if you also have thinning hair, dry, brittle nails and often feel tired, you may have an iron or vitamin B deficiency.
3. DRY, ITCHY SKIN
You may have a vitamin C deficiency or eczema, says Dr Wong. External triggers include dehydration from excessive sauna treatments, or an allergic reaction to cosmetics, chemical peels or laser treatments. If you also have dry and itchy skin on other parts of your body, these may be indicative of liver or kidney failure.
4. PERSISTENT FLUSHING AND BROKEN CAPILLARIES
If you have these on and around the nose, cheeks, forehead and chin, you may have a skin disorder called rosacea, says Dr Low. Recurrent inflamed pimple-like bumps and marked skin sensitivity are also common symptoms.
5. BLOODSHOT EYES
If this occurs with an itchy and runny nose, you’re probably allergic to your contact lenses, mascara or makeup remover, says Dr Wong. If you also have joint pains, an unexplained fever or rashes, get checked for lupus or rheumatoid arthritis.
6. OILY SKIN AND ZITS
Adult acne (breakouts that occur when you’re 25 and older) that doesn’t go away with treatment may indicate an underlying hormonal disorder such as hyperthyroidism (high thyroid hormone levels) or polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) where one has multiple cysts on the ovaries, says Dr Low.
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include unexplained weight loss, feeling jittery and insomnia. PCOS is often present with an irregular menstrual cycle and excessive facial hair growth.
(NOTE: DO SEE YOUR DOCTOR IF YOU HAVE ANY OF THESE SYMPTOMS.)
This story was originally published in the March 2011 issue of Her World.