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Skin blushing/flushing

Blushing; Flushing; Red face

 

Skin blushing or flushing is a sudden reddening of the face, neck, or upper chest.

Causes

 

Blushing is a normal body response that may occur when you are embarrassed, angry, excited, or experiencing another strong emotion.

Flushing of the face may be associated with certain medical conditions, such as:

  • High fever
  • Menopause
  • Rosacea
  • Carcinoid syndrome

Other causes include:

  • Alcohol use
  • Certain medicines used to treat diabetes and high cholesterol
  • Exercise
  • Extreme emotions
  • Hot or spicy foods
  • Rapid changes in temperature or heat exposure

 

Home Care

 

Try to avoid the things that cause your blushing. For example, you may need to avoid hot drinks, spicy foods, extreme temperatures, or bright sunlight.

 

When to Contact a Medical Professional

 

Call your health care provider if you have persistent flushing, particularly if you have other symptoms (such as diarrhea).

 

What to Expect at Your Office Visit

 

The provider will perform a physical exam and may ask about your medical history and symptoms, including:

  • Does the flushing affect the whole body or just the face?
  • Do you have hot flashes?
  • How often do you have flushing or blushing?
  • Are episodes getting worse or more frequent?
  • Is it worse after you drink alcohol?
  • What other symptoms do you have? For example, do you have diarrhea, wheezing, hives, or difficulty breathing?
  • Does it happen when you eat certain foods or exercise?

Treatment depends on the cause of your blushing or flushing. Your provider may recommend that you avoid things that trigger the condition.

 

 

References

Stechschulte SA, McCall CO, Wilkin JK. Flushing. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann WR, Berth-Jones J, Coulson I, eds. Treatment of Skin Disease: Comprehensive Therapeutic Strategies. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2014:chap 81.

 
  • Skin layers

    Skin layers - illustration

    The skin is the largest organ of the body. The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection. It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature. The skin contains secretions that can kill bacteria and the pigment melanin provides a chemical pigment defense against ultraviolet light that can damage skin cells. Another important function of the skin is body temperature regulation. When the skin is exposed to a cold temperature, the blood vessels in the dermis constrict. This allows the blood which is warm, to bypass the skin. The skin then becomes the temperature of the cold it is exposed to. Body heat is conserved since the blood vessels are not diverting heat to the skin anymore. Among its many functions the skin is an incredible organ always protecting the body from external agents.

    Skin layers

    illustration

    • Skin layers

      Skin layers - illustration

      The skin is the largest organ of the body. The skin and its derivatives (hair, nails, sweat and oil glands) make up the integumentary system. One of the main functions of the skin is protection. It protects the body from external factors such as bacteria, chemicals, and temperature. The skin contains secretions that can kill bacteria and the pigment melanin provides a chemical pigment defense against ultraviolet light that can damage skin cells. Another important function of the skin is body temperature regulation. When the skin is exposed to a cold temperature, the blood vessels in the dermis constrict. This allows the blood which is warm, to bypass the skin. The skin then becomes the temperature of the cold it is exposed to. Body heat is conserved since the blood vessels are not diverting heat to the skin anymore. Among its many functions the skin is an incredible organ always protecting the body from external agents.

      Skin layers

      illustration

    A Closer Look

     

      Talking to your MD

       

        Self Care

         

        Tests for Skin blushing/flushing

         

         

        Review Date: 4/14/2015

        Reviewed By: Kevin Berman, MD, PhD, Atlanta Center for Dermatologic Disease, Atlanta, GA. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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