Facial Flushing – Causes of Facial Flushing

Facial flushing is characterised by a reddening/blushing in and around the face which will often occur suddenly. This can be a result of many different things and can be triggered by a range of situations or stimuli. However in the vast majority of cases the reddening is caused by blood rushing to the surface of the skin around the face area. This in turn though can be a result of many different things, and understanding what might be triggering it can help you to prevent the problem from occurring – as it can sometimes be embarrassing if it ruins your complexion or if people mistake it for an emotional response. Of course there are also some unrelated causes of a red face which we will address here too.


When we are embarrassed it can cause a release of adrenaline and this can mean that our heart rate increases. In turn that means that more blood travels to the face and more of it will remain there creating the impression of a red face. Other reactions that cause this effect are stress and anger.


Rosacea is a medical condition that causes redness in the face and sometime pimples to form. To tell if you have Rosacea look for a more deeply red hue than that caused by flushing and for colour that does not fade nor seem to be caused by any of the other causes on this list. This is a chronic condition rather than an acute one. If you think that you are affected by Rosacea then you should see a Dr to address the condition.


An uneven complexion can be the cause of a flushed face in some cases as clusters of spots filled with blood can make whole areas look red. At the same time the fact that some of the skin is in better condition than other parts will mean that the redness looks blotchy. To avoid this you should see a doctor or a skin specialist and should be sure to ex-foliate regularly.


A rash can be the result of an allergy and is an immune response. However in some cases it might be difficult to address the cause of the rash and it may not seem to be triggered by any particular allergen. If you have recently begun using a new face cream, shampoo or other product, or if you have eaten something that you do not normally eat, then any of these things could explain the cause of your allergic reaction and you should try taking them out of your diet/regime and see if the rash goes away. In some rare cases you can develop allergies to things that you have previously had no problem with so don’t rule out the mainstays either if you haven’t changed anything recently. If you cannot identify the allergen, then a doctor can help you to do so by running tests. Spicy foods are commonly known to cause facial flushing too.


Redness is often caused by wind burn and if you have been out in the cold then a combination of the extreme temperature (which causes your body to get hotter) and the wind can result in your face looking redder than usual. Wearing a balaclava can help prevent this.


Alcohol can cause flushing as a reaction and the severity can depend on the individual and the type of alcohol. Interestingly Asian people are more prone to flushing when drinking beer, and it is believed this is because those in the West adapted more to beer when using it as an alternative to water during the Middle Ages. Be sure to drink lots of water with your alcohol and take sever flushing as a sign to slow down.


Exercise of course gets your blood pumping around your body and that means it travels to your face too, and at the same time it also causes your internal body temperature to rise more than it normally would which additionally causes flushing.


As mentioned getting hot from exercise or from external heat can cause you to become red, as can being in the cold when your body can sometimes fight to increase your body temperature. It is not generally thought of as a problem when exercising as you are unlikely to do so right before social calls. Make sure to plan ahead so you have time to cool down after a workout, and try washing your face with a cool flannel to speed up the process after going for a jog on your lunch break etc.

Poor Circulation

Poor circulation can cause blood to collect in a range of places and not flow as effectively as it should and this can also lead to facial flushing. There are many reasons you may have poor circulation and these include high blood pressure and high cholesterol. You can try to improve your circulation by losing weight, exercising regularly and by eating lots of fibre and drinking lots of water.

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