Facial redness should rarely become a cause for concern. Most people have this manifestation in the face of obvious stimuli such as heat or fatigue. However, it can sometimes be a sign of a serious condition. seria.
Facial flushing is a state in which the blood vessels under the skin of the face expand and fill with blood. This causes the complexion to appear pinkish or reddish on the face, neck, and sometimes on the upper chest.
In most cases it is a natural physiological reaction that cannot be controlled voluntarily. However, pathological facial redness can also occur, when there is no known stimulus to cause it.
What produces it and why? The following are the main causes.
1. Heat, the main cause of facial flushing
The most obvious and obvious cause of facial flushing is increased body heat. This can occur due to changes in the temperature of the environment, physical exercise or intense activity. Generally, it shouldn’t cause any concern.
In this case, the blush appears because the body makes the blood vessels expand, in order to cool the body. If the heat is very high, there is a need to hydrate. If it is accompanied by other symptoms such as shortness of breath, confusion or exhaustion, it may be a sign of a pathological condition.
2. Psychological stimulus
In this case, the facial redness is what is known as “blushing” or “blushing.” It is a very common condition that occurs when a person feels anxiety or shame. At the same time, the blush itself sometimes causes more embarrassment and can then get worse.
What happens in these circumstances is that the psychological stimulus leads to the secretion of hormones associated with anxiety, such as adrenaline and others. These temporarily dilate the blood vessels and the result is flushing.
3. Alcohol consumption
One of the effects of alcohol consumption is facial redness. When consuming this substance the blood vessels expand and, therefore, there is a greater volume of circulation; This creates a pinkish or reddish color on the face.
Of course, the greater the amounts of alcohol consumed, the more evident the redness of the face. However, this is a normal physiological reaction, which should not cause concern.
There are some drugs that have a side effect of redness of the skin. Among them are certain antibiotics, vasodilators, opioids such as morphine and thyroid releasing hormone.
Nitrates, nicotinic acid, tamoxifen, and calcium channel blockers can also cause facial flushing. If this effect is very annoying, the indicated thing is to ask the doctor to replace the drug with another that does not generate this problem.
5. Endocrine disorder
The endocrine system is made up of glands. These produce hormones, which behave as “chemical messengers.” This means that they travel through the bloodstream, carry information to different parts of the body and, in this way, regulate various functions of the body.
Sometimes the endocrine system malfunctions and high levels of hormones are produced that influence blood pressure, stress, or dilation of blood vessels. This could lead to facial flushing.
Rosacea is a skin condition characterized by symptoms such as redness, visible blood vessels, pimples, and others. It is presented by episodes in which each one lasts longer than the previous one.
Rosacea episodes usually begin with facial flushing. Science is unclear on why this occurs, but factors such as the sun, changes in temperature, stress, some foods, and certain medications are believed to play a role.
When women stop having menstrual periods, a series of hormonal changes also take place in their body. Sometimes this affects blood flow and leads to so-called “hot flashes,” during which a wave of heat is experienced by the body.
It is very common that during hot flashes there is also facial redness. If this becomes very uncomfortable, it is indicated to consult with the doctor to order a treatment according to the health conditions of each woman.
8. Carcinoid syndrome
This is a rare condition that causes facial and chest redness. These symptoms appear in about 10% of people who have a carcinoid tumor. This usually appears in the digestive tract and spreads to other parts of the body.
These types of tumors are known to produce substances that are very similar to some hormones, such as serotonin. That is the factor that leads to carcinoid syndrome and therefore facial flushing.
9. Mast cell activation syndrome
Mast cells are part of the immune system. They release a substance that sometimes, by mistake, increases a lot or is produced at a time when it should not. This causes mast cell activation syndrome.
One of the symptoms of this syndrome is redness of the skin. There may also be hives and shortness of breath. In general, the typical symptoms of anaphylaxis are present.
10. Thyroid cancer
Thyroid cancer is a serious disease that, for obvious reasons, alters the behavior of the thyroid gland. One of the effects of this is the modification in the production of hormones, which can cause redness of the skin.
There is one form of thyroid cancer that is more likely to cause redness: medullary thyroid carcinoma. However, this type of cancer is rare, accounting for only 4% of cases.
Symptoms of facial redness
The symptoms of facial redness depend on the cause that produces them. When they are not due to a pathological condition, the usual thing is that only a coloration appears on the face, which can be generalized or by patches.
Many times such redness is accompanied by sweating. Some signs of anxiety are also common. If the condition is the result of another health problem, there may be symptoms such as shortness of breath, pain in some area of the body or hives.
How to treat facial redness?
The treatment of facial flushing also depends on the cause that produces it. In most cases it is due to a normal stimulus such as heat, fatigue or embarrassment. If it occurs very often or is very severe, it may be a good idea to see your doctor.
If facial redness is the result of a disease, the solution is to treat said pathology. A visit to a dermatologist, endocrinologist, or vascular surgeon may be necessary to resolve the problem.
If needed, it is indicated to consult a psychologist. In the most severe cases, surgery can be done to section the nerve pathway that gives rise to facial flushing. This solves the root problem, in up to 80% of the cases.
How can facial redness be prevented?
The best way to prevent facial flushing is to avoid exposure to stimuli such as very high ambient temperatures. In those cases, it is indicated to hydrate continuously. The same applies when carrying out vigorous physical activity.
Regular exercise helps maintain healthy blood pressure and reduce stress levels. A balanced diet allows you to control your weight. It is advisable to avoid alcohol consumption and practice relaxation techniques.
Better safe than sorry!
Facial redness is usually harmless. However, if it is very severe or excessively frequent, it is indicated to consult with the doctor. The same applies if it occurs without a stimulus to cause it.
It is also worth keeping an eye out for facial flushing that gets worse over time and includes other symptoms. In some cases it is a sign of a serious illness, so it is not convenient to ignore it.