Face Turns Red When Embarassed/Nervous?

My face turns red whenever I'm embarrassed or nervous. For example, when I'm presenting something my whole face turns red and my ears. Its annoying and I don't know how to control it. Sometimes it turns red when I'm not even embarrassed or nervous. I don't think its rosacea, but I really don't know what it is. I want to know if there is a solution. I'm hoping there is because I don't plan to go to college with this problem where I'm most likely going to have to take public speaking classes!

Doctor Answers 7

Face Turns Red when Embarassed/Nervous

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Hi there,

Blushing often occurs when you are nervous or embarrassed.  It can also happen when you are angry.  Your body secretes more adrenaline during these situations, which causes your heart rate and breathing to increase.  The blood vessels in your face also dilate (open up to allow more blood to flow).  Since more blood than usual is now flowing through the capillaries in your face, your face will appear more red.  The effect is even more pronounced in people with fairer skin tones.  Rosacea is a common facial eruption characterized by redness, dilated vessels, flushing, and blushing.  There is no cure for rosacea, but there are some triggers to avoid.  Triggers include: spicy foods and hot drinks, ingestion of alcohol (red wine), exercise in hot weather or heat and sun exposure.

Orange County Dermatologist
4.4 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Redness Relief!

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Dear Pamjam8,

Not to worry. There are solutions for rosacea that can help with the facial flushing, which is perhaps one of the more embarrassing components of rosacea. The redness and flushing can usually only be partially controlled with a topical vasoconstrictor. The only one on the market today is "Mirvaso" and is a prescription drug which usually lasts about 6-8 hours after application. See your dermatologist for more detailed instructions and to see if it's the right type of medication for you. 

Best of luck! 

Dr. S

Bruce Saal, MD
Los Gatos Dermatologic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Red Face of Rosacea

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Dear pamjam8:

Sounds like your rosacea is precipitated by anxiety which is not uncommon.  Treatment options for rosacea vary from topical, oral, IPL and laser treatments.   It is best to see a skin care expert who can safely guide you along your treatment plan.  Best wishes.

Facial Redness

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Rosacea, is a common condition of redness, coarse skin texture and the presence of telengiectasias ( tiny broken capillaries) on the face. Flushing -- or as we say , " anything that makes you flush or blush", can also be a sign of Rosacea!  Ask you health-care provider next time you are in .

The good news is that these signs and symptoms can be readily treated with a variety of lasers. IPl lasers
( such as the LimeLight) will reduce the overall redness and flushing and vascular lasers such as Cutera's Coolglide will more selectively treat the more vessels and improve the skin texture.

Ronald Moser, MD
San Juan Capistrano Physician

It's not uncommon for people to turn red when embarrassed or nervous..

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if the problem seems to worsen or last unusually long to return to normal, then there's a good bet it's an early sign of rosacea...and it's possible to keep the vessels from dilating if you get a VBeam treatment every once in awhile...unfortunately there aren't any topicals that keep the vessels from dilating...but they're working on some medicines to do just that...so keep your fingers crossed...and always remember the possibility of green tinted makeup to hide the redness...

Ken Landow, MD
Las Vegas Dermatologist

Facial redness and flushing is rosacea

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Facial redness and flushing is a sign of rosacea. Flushings can be triggered by environment, social settings, foods, medications, etc. Your best bet will be to see a dermatologist for an evaluation and treatment plan.

It sounds like you have Rosacea

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It sounds like you have Rosacea. It is a very common skin condition that affects millions. There are several treatments for Rosacea -- they range from topical prescription creams to antibiotic pills to in-office laser treatments. All are effective depending on the type of rosacea and your board-certified dermatologist can help you decide which is best for you.

Ava Shamban, MD
Santa Monica Dermatologic Surgeon
3.9 out of 5 stars 9 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.