Glendale Adventist Medical Center - Adventist Health
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Skin blushing/flushing

Definition

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

Alternative Names

Blushing; Flushing; Red face

Considerations

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 also be associated with certain medical conditions.

Causes

Common causes include:

  • Extreme emotions
  • Hot or spicy foods
  • Rosacea

Other causes include:

  • Alcohol use
  • Carcinoid syndrome
  • Certain medicines used to treat diabetes and high cholesterol
  • High fever
  • Menopause
  • Rapid changes in temperature

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.

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

Your health care 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?

References

Powell FC, Raghallaigh SN. Rosacea and related disorders. In: Bolognia JL, Jorizzo JL, Schaffer JV, eds. Dermatology. 3rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Elsevier Saunders; 2012:chap 37.


Review Date: 4/14/2013
Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director and Director of Didactic Curriculum, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, Bethanne Black, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.
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