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What Causes Facial Flushing?

Depending on the trigger, facial flushing can occur due to intense emotions, stress, or exercise. It can also occur due to exposure to high temperatures or an underlying medical condition. Hot or spicy foods can also cause the flushing of the face. This is because they affect the body’s ability to regulate its temperature. Other triggers include alcohol consumption or exposure to sunlight. If you experience frequent flushes, you should contact your provider for treatment.

If your facial flushing occurs frequently and accompanied by other facial symptoms, you may have a serious medical condition. A provider can rule out serious conditions and suggest treatment options based on your symptoms. Often, a simple lifestyle changes or some medications can alleviate the problem. For instance, you may try exercising more or reducing your stress, or try using a moisturizer that soothes the skin.

Some other causes of facial flushing are high blood pressure, blocked arteries, and metabolic disorders. Certain foods and beverages can also cause the flushing of the face. Hot drinks, spicy foods, and food additives can cause your face to redden. Some of these foods may be harmless, but others can cause a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction.

Another cause of facial flushing is a blood disorder called polycythemia vera (PV). PV causes excess blood cell production in the bone marrow. This increases red blood cell count, and may also result in an abnormal amount of white blood cells and platelets. While facial redness is less common in people with this blood disorder, if you experience this symptom, consult your provider immediately. You should also consult with an oncology specialist if you suspect you have PV. Your provider will be able to prescribe appropriate treatment for you and manage your symptoms.

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