Flushed Face: Should You Be Worried?

There are many different reasons that can make a person’s face flush. They can be psychological, physiological, or even a combination of those factors. Flushed face is such a common symptom that it’s impossible to base your diagnosis on it. Therefore, you have to take note of any other symptoms that occur along with flushing.

In the majority of cases, it’s only your face that gets flushed. However, some conditions, like fever, can cause your whole body to go red. You also need to understand that this reaction may be less visible on people with darker complexion. On the other hand, those who have fair skin and hair flush easily.

Blushing is a light form of flush that shows on your cheeks. It is usually caused by emotional reactions, like embarrassment or joy. Flush is darker in color and usually covers your whole face.

Possible Causes

The list of reasons that can make a flush appear on your face is extremely long. However, there are some conditions that you need to be aware of in order to understand whether your flushed face should be a reason for worry.

  • Natural reaction of your body to physical exertion.
  • Change of body temperature induced by consuming alcohol or spicy foods.
  • Fever.
  • Extreme emotional reactions (for example anger, embarrassment, frustration).
  • Sexual arousal.
  • Inflammation caused by an allergic reaction or infection.
  • Sneezing or coughing. The physical act itself makes blood flow to your face and can even rupture some tiny capillaries.
  • Headache (depending on its cause).
  • Consuming a high dose of vitamin B3.
  • Experiencing extreme pain.
  • Hyperthyroidism. This condition will cause hormonal imbalance and can result in flushing and other severe skin conditions, like acne.
  • Carcinoid tumor. Flushing is not the most telling symptom of this condition. However, if it occurs regularly and seems to have no reason, you should consult a doctor to eliminate any possibility of a tumor.
  • Heat stroke.
  • Tachycardia. This condition occurs when your heart rate increases drastically. This causes blood to race through your veins and can make you flushed as well as increase your blood pressure. People who suffer from hypertension should always have specialized heart medication on hand. If taken immediately, it can reduce the risk of a stroke.
  • Drugs. Various medications, like niacin or drugs that treat erectile dysfunction, can cause your face to become flushed for a short while after taking them. This reaction is harmless and should pass quickly. However, if it’s accompanied by tachycardia and trouble with breathing, this can be a symptom of an extreme allergic reaction. In this case, the affected person requires immediate medical assistance. This condition can turn fatal within minutes.
  • Rosacea. This is a chronic skin disorder that can cause redness similar to flushing and itchiness. With your face permanently flushed because of it, you may need to use specialized cosmetic products to cover this imperfection. Using anti-inflammatory lotions should help reduce the redness.
  • Contact reactions. In many cases, flushed face is caused by a mild allergic reaction to a product that comes into direct contact with your skin. This problem should be resolved after you stop using the product. This form of allergic dermatitis may not appear immediately, and it can take a few days for your body to get rid of the chemicals that cause this reaction.
  • Perimenopause. Flushing is one of the symptoms of menopause that are caused by hormonal changes in a woman’s body. If this is the reason in your case, you can put a piece of cold damp cloth on your face to soothe the flushed burning skin. If your hot flashes are severe, you should consult your doctor about possible hormonal treatment.

When to Call a Doctor?

In the vast majority of cases, facial flushing is not a reason for concern. However, if this reaction occurs often, you should discuss it with your doctor.

If flushing is accompanied by one of the following symptoms, you should seek immediate medical attention:

  • Swollen tongue.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • High fever.
  • Loss of consciousness or awareness problems.
  • Face swelling.
  • Shortness of breath.
  • Chest pain.