Everyone is familiar with a sense of embarrassment, when the face suddenly feels hot and cheeks turn rosy red. However, this is not the only cause of flushed face. In can be a symptom of a disorder, which requires treatment.
How does it happen?
When we feel awkward, angry, shy, etc., the brain activates the vasomotor function, which regulates body temperature. It signals the nervous system to produce a group of chemicals, which command the heart to speed up and facial blood vessels to dilate. As a result, there is more blood circulating the vessels, and the face may take on different shades of red.
What causes it?
There are other factors, which trigger the process. These include:
- Intense emotions: please, read the previous paragraph.
- Spicy foods. Different pepper types and paprika are among the ingredients containing substances that produce a vasodilating effect and increase blood flow in the face.
- Rosacea is a skin condition, which causes bumps and reddening. Not infrequently, dilated blood vessels become visible through the skin. Rosacea is a chronic condition, which may break out from time to time over years. Many patients complain about tingling and burning sensations on the face.
- Physical activity entails an increase in blood pressure and heart rate, which intensify blood flow in the face and cause the it to redden.
- Cushing’s disease is a condition occurring due to an abnormal increase of cortisol – a hormone produced by the adrenal glands. Flushed face is one of its most common symptoms.
- Allergies, which occur when the body mistakes a healthy substance for an unhealthy one, also cause blood pressure and body temperature to soar and result in flushed face. It may be a sign of anaphylaxis – a dangerous and potentially life-threatening condition. People can be allergic to some foods, plants, materials, medications, etc.
- Alcohol causes blood vessels to dilate and fills them with blood. For this reason, it is quite easy to tell a drunk person from a sober one by a characteristic red color of the face.
- Excessive use of niacin – a drug used to reduce bad cholesterol, control levels of triglycerides and prevent niacin deficiency (pellagra).
- Cold weather forces the body to keep itself warm by increasing blood flow to areas, which are in direct contact with the outer environment. Because face is one such area, it turns red when exposed to frost.
- Menopause often causes flushed face in women dealing with low estrogen and progesterone.
What can I do about it?
As follows from the above, flushing may occur due to ordinary and/or clinical factors. Essential flushing, which we observe when we experience an intense emotion or take up a rigorous activity, poses little or no risk and goes away easily. In case whereby it occurs due to a disease, medical assistance is required.
Some simple steps can work under certain circumstances. For instance, you can take cool drinks regularly, such as grapefruit or lemon juice. It is advisable to include some whole grains like brown rice and barley in your diet. Fruits and berries like apples, pears, watermelons, melons, etc., can help you control blood pressure and reduce the risk of flushing. Cut down on spicy and sugary foods.
Finally, you can learn some methods of self-control like meditation and yoga, which can help you prevent emotion-related flushing.