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Blushing is an involuntary response that occurs under certain conditions. The face may flush red or become covered in red patches and blotches. Blushing is a very common complaint and can be the cause of great anxiety, especially in social situations. Many people grow out of blushing, but in some extreme cases, treatment is necessary.
The treatment recommended for blushing will depend on the cause behind the condition. This reaction can occur as an emotional response to certain situations. If someone feels guilty, nervous or embarrassed, then a red flush across the face and chest may appear. Other symptoms that may accompany the facial flushing include a feeling of overall heat and sweating on the palms of the hands or the face.
Apart from emotional considerations, there are other factors that may cause frequent blushing. Menopausal women may suffer from frequent blushing, often referred to as hot flashes. There are also certain drugs and medicines that can cause the condition.
Ingesting spicy foods or taking exercise can also cause blushing. When the body is hot, the blood vessels open wider in an attempt to cool the body, allowing more blood to flow to the skin’s surface. Social phobia is also a very common cause of severe flushing.
Facial flushing caused by psychological factors has a number of treatment options. Cognitive behavioral therapy can change the way people think in social situations. Breathing exercises are often successful in helping people to relax when they feel anxious in certain situations. Other treatments include placing sufferers in situations where they must confront and overcome their fears.
One of the most common reasons for this reaction is anxiety, and there are a number of drugs available that can be used to treat anxiety. Beta-blockers are commonly used to treat heart palpitations and to decrease anxiety. Another drug, Clonidine, works by suppressing the dilation of the blood vessels. These drugs are helpful, but they do not eradicate the underlying reasons behind the condition. They may only be a short-term solution.
If the facial flushing is severe enough, doctors may advise a surgical treatment called endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy (ETS). During the ETS procedure, certain nerves that control blood flow to the face are cut. Recent reports have shown this to be a very popular operation with professional people in high profile jobs. For professionals who fear that frequent blushing is ruining their chances of promotion, the solution may be a quick and painless ETS.