Skin Blushing and Flushing: Causes & Issues

Getting a natural and youthful skin is a dream of every one but only the few have it. All of us suffers from one or the other skin problem and one such problem is “SKIN BLUSHING AND FLUSHING”. Skin flushing or blushing indicates the reddening of skin that is of your neck, upper chest and face. One can observe the spotty patches of redness while blushing. It is commonly caused due to increased blood flow in our skin. Increased blood supply leads to flushing of skin and it happens when the hundreds of tiny blood vessels just beneath your skin either dilates or widens. When these blood vessels become larger, they are promptly filled with more amount of blood. This leads to change the color of the skin and it appears to be more red or pinkish. Cheeks and chest skin, being more closed to the blood vessels, that’s why this effect is more visible on these areas of skin. And when your hand come in contact with this flushed skin, you can experience some slight burning in your skin.

Flushed skin is also often seen as an optical sign of embarrassment, worry, or being too hot. This is the way your skin responds to anxiety, stress, embarrassment, anger, or any another extreme emotional state. Facial flushing and blushing is usually treated by people as a social problem more than a medical problem. However, flushing may be associated to medical issues as well such as Cushing disease or overdose of niacin.

Blushing is one of the normal body response to certain emotional triggers but flushed skin is much more serious and is related with certain medical problems.

Flushed skin is usually not life threatening and does not lasts for long but knowing the causes, symptoms and other information will actually help you in dealing with it.


The symptoms that can be seen in severe facial blushing can include the following:

  • Excessive blushing
  • Heat sensations in the face
  • dampness

Common causes of Flushed skin


Being in an anxious or conscious state may trigger your body to start releasing certain hormones named as adrenaline that for the time being dilates our blood vessels and results in reddening of the skin. This type of flushed skin is often called by one more name by many people known as blushing.


Due to the persistent heat in our body, it causes the blood vessels to broaden itself. It is the natural response of our body to cool down. And most of the times this reaction may also lead to flushed skin. This happens as a result of exercise, intensive physical activity, or sudden changes in temperature. But the skin flushing that is result of this type of exercises or being in a hot environment is usually not a producer of worry as it lasts for some time only. However, people who are constantly feeling hot should ensure that they drink plenty of water. Taking deep breaths in this situation can also help out. When you experience superficial burn on the outermost layer of skin, and if it is mainly occurring in addition to symptoms, such as difficulty in breathing, exhaustion, or confusion, can be an indication of a heat-related illness, such as heat exhaustion or heatstroke. Some more observable symptoms may include redness, pain, and swelling in skin as well. For the first few days of sunburn, the skin appears to be dry and is slightly peeled. And if you have more sun exposure, severe blistering burns may occur on your skin.


This is the time period that comes in every women’s life when she permanently stops having her menstrual period. This causes a severe change in hormone levels in the women’s body that is decrease in the production of estrogen and progesterone and as a result may cause bouts of flushing that are also known by another name called as hot flashes. During this time a sudden feeling of heat is emerged that can spread throughout the body including our skin.

Endocrine disorder

The endocrine system in body consists of all the glands that is responsible for producing hormones. Hormones are also known as chemical messengers of our body. These hormones take the help of bloodstream to reach their respective places in the body and help in regulating those bodily functions. But this internal linkage and communication gets distorted if our body produces more or less hormones. And this may lead to awakening of skin flushing symptoms. It also disrupts other bodily functions and may affect the blood pressure levels.

For example Hyperthyroidism

This occurs when our thyroid gland located in our neck produces more hormones than that is required in our body. This may result to make our skin blush and flush.


Alcohol is considered as silent killer in our body as it raises the blood pressure resulting into widening of the blood vessels inside our skin which is the underlying cause of flushed skin. Consumption of alcohol and reddening of skin have a direct relationship with each other that means higher the amount of alcohol in our body higher is the appearance of flushed skin. But such skin flushing is usually not long lasting.

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This dreadful skin disease is a long-term skin condition that goes through cycles of fading and relapse. Sunlight, stress etc. may trigger it. This disease has skin flushing as one of the key symptom. In addition to skin flushing, skin becomes dry and sensitive. It may also cause pimples to pop up, optical blood vessels and other skin problems. Common factors that may trigger this disease includes the following:

  1. Stress, anxiety
  2. sun exposure
  3. extreme temperatures
  4. some peculiar foods or drinks
  5. certain medicines

But with certain treatments including medicines and antibiotics may help to control the symptoms.

Spicy food

Eating too much of spicy foods may increase your body temperature that causes facial redness. Spicy foods cause unexpected redness in the face or neck.

Cushing syndrome 

It is the result of increase in the level of cortisol in our body. Excessive use of steroids or tumor in your adrenal glands that is responsible for making cortisol causes your body to release high amounts of cortisol in our body.


It is a skin problem which happens when your skin comes in contact with certain allergic substances that might irritate our skin and cause red rashes. The allergic substances may be present in cosmetics, dyes, detergents or cleaners. These red rashes may go forever if you stop using those cosmetic or allergic substances. If these do not stop, then one should contact a dermatologist.

Scarlet Fever

It is caused by the bacteria that is also responsible for causing strep throat. It is more common in children who are aged between 5 -15 years as it is easily communicable disease. That’s why children are the easy target of this fever. Symptoms that occur in addition to flushed skin includes fever, sore throat, sunburn etc. it is often treated using the antibiotics. Be cautious as if this disease left untreated may cause you kidney and lung problems.

Niacin overdose

Skin flushing due to niacin overdose that is over intake of Vitamin B3 is also common cause of skin reddening and flushing. It is also accompanied with itchiness or burning sensations. Symptoms can increase or decrease depending upon the intake of niacin.

Certain medications may also cause skin flushing. Below is the list of name of medications that are responsible for causing facial redness:

  1. corticotropin-releasing hormone
  2. doxorubicin
  3. calcium channel blockers
  4. morphine and other opiates
  5. cholinergic drugs (e.g., metrifonate, anthelmintic drugs)
  6. amyl nitrite and butyl nitrite
  7. vasodilators (e.g., nitroglycerin)
  8. glucocorticoids and many more.
Cluster headaches

When the headaches occur in cycles or in clusters usually observable on only one side of the head it is called as Cluster Headaches. Symptoms that are also observable with cluster headaches are drop in eyelids, constricted pupil, eye redness, sensitivity towards light, swelling around one or both of your eyes, a runny and stuffy nose etc. The pain may also expand to the forehead, temples, teeth, nose, neck, or shoulders on the same side.

Other Diseases

Certain diseases or infections like fifth disease, Agoraphobia, pyelonephritis, yellow fever etc. may also have the symptom facial redness and are linked to skin flushing.

Prevention of skin flushing and blushing

Skin flushing is not at all an easy task to prevent but one should always try as it is well said that “prevention is better than cure”. Certain habits that can help you to prevent skin blushing and flushing are discussed below:

  • As you know that extreme temperature leads to skin flushing, so you must be properly dressed in the extreme cold or hot weather. One should also avoid coming in contact with bright sunlight.
  • Hydrating yourself is the ultimate prevention of all the skin problems so drinking plenty of liquids is recommended. It allows our body to prevent the ill effects of overheating and dehydration.
  • Eating a nutritious, balanced diet helps you in maintaining a healthy weight and blood pressure, which will keep you away from skin problems including flushed skin. You can also try lot of different exercises to maintain a naturally healthy skin.
  • Breathing exercises, mindfulness, and meditation done in YOGA allows you to cope up with stress. This is the main activator of skin flushing.
  • If you know that certain medical conditions of your body is responsible for the flushed skin. Then one should take the counter medicines to deteriorate the symptoms.
  • The daily recommended normal niacin intake is around 14 to 16 mg for adults. And if you consume more than 50 milligrams of niacin, it can cause skin flushing.
  • Redness and warmth on the skin is more common to those people who are always found drinking alcohol. An enzyme known for removing such skin flushing becomes inactive when alcohol is inside our body.

When to go to a doctor

Flushed skin is usually considered harmless, but it may be sometimes a symptom of hazardous disease like hyperthyroidism etc. so It is best to see a doctor if the skin flushing:

  • It is occurring more frequently and getting worsened each time it happens.
  • It does not appears in relation of heat, exercise, or emotional responses.
  • It is accompanied by other unexplained symptoms, such as diarrhea or a racing heartbeat etc.
  • It is making you feel embarrassed and visible signs of stress and anxiety can be seen.

Medications for blushing

Medications that can assist you in treating the facial blushing and flushing include the following:


These drugs assist you in managing the certain symptoms of anxiety, such as blushing and heart palpitations.


It is a medication that is used by the dermatologist for treating the uncontrollable facial blushing. It changes the natural body’s response to certain chemicals that help you in controlling the expansion and deflation of blood vessels inside our skin.

Botox injections

It works by paralyzing the nerves inside the skin for the time being that generally leads to skin blushing. You can see the results and effects of these injections up to six months only.


As told earlier in this article Flushed skin occurs due to the widening of blood vessels just inside our skin. Occasional flushing may be normal that may be because of excessive exercise or other emotional responses but if occurs persistently for long times it may be considered as problem. It can also be seen as side effect of certain medications or drinking alcohol. Therefore you should be careful while observing your other symptoms in addition to skin flushing as it may be an alarm for you for certain harmful medical conditions such as rosacea, cancer, or an endocrine disorder. And if you observe some more key symptoms of these diseases please don’t play with your skin and overall body and seek a medical advice as soon as possible. Its better to consult specialist who are highly experienced in handling the situation.



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