When blood capillaries in the face dilate, skin appears flushed. Red cheeks can be triggered by environmental factors, a food intolerance, emotional issues or menopause. If you have no other underlying health problems, see your doctor or dermatologist to rule out rosacea. This condition requires medical intervention, and it is not a general term for describing a hot flush or rosy cheeks.
Extremely hot or cold weather conditions are enough to make your cheeks develop a rosy glow. Drastic temperature fluctuations encourage blood vessels to dilate, and the skin takes on a flushed appearance. Wind, rain or snow showers dry out exposed skin, making it blotchy and irritated. Wear a scarf around your face in the winter, and moisturise exposed skin regularly to maintain optimum hydration. Overexposure to the sun causes sunburn, so use a high factor sunscreen in the summer to protect your face from harmful UV rays.
Red cheeks can flare up as a reaction to a food intolerance or sensitivity. Alcohol can cause a flush extending from the face to the neck. Cheese, spices and the food additive monosodium glutamate (MSG) are also known to produce a red-faced reaction. Identification and avoidance is the best remedy for food intolerance. Ask your doctor how to identify food triggers by elimination if you think you are sensitive to a particular food or ingredient.
An extreme emotional response such as embarrassment, stress or anxiety can lead to a flushed face and rosy cheeks. This is your body's fight or flight mechanism kicking in, as epinephrine increases blood flow to the capillaries on your face making you blush.
Hormonal changes during menopause affect the way a woman's nervous system reacts, and erratic sweating with flushed cheeks are typical symptoms. Each episode lasts approximately three to six minutes and can occur repeatedly within an hour. Some women find hormone replacement therapy (HRT) alleviates menopausal symptoms.