Treatment for Facial Blushing

Written by andrea griffith | 13/05/2017

Facial blushing isn't just a little problem when someone gets slightly embarrassed. It can be a severe medical condition. Luckily, there are several treatments, medical and at-home, that can reduce the appearance of facial blushing or prevent it from happening.

About Facial Blushing

Blushing is a common problem that affects many people. However, this issue can become very severe, affecting the lives of those who suffer from it. According to Hyperhidrosis.org, facial blushing or "erythrophobia is a sudden reddening of the face that occurs spontaneously or in response to stressful stimuli." This reddening of the skin can also spread to other parts of the upper body. Hyperhidrosis.org says facial blushing can be completely unpredictable: "Facial blushing is caused by overactivity of the sympathetic nervous system. This is part of the involuntary central nervous system. Therefore it is not possible to control or stop it voluntarily." However, there are some treatments and remedies available to help reduce facial blushing.

Medical Treatments

According to Hyperhidrosis.org, surgical treatment with sympathectomy is best for those who suffer from involuntary blushing. During the surgery, "the sympathetic nerves are...found in the thoracic cavity and are either cut, clamped or resected." According the website, during the clamping surgery a doctor will clamp the specific nerve(s) with a titanium clip to "interrupt the nerve signals," but not destroy them. Therefore, in the future, the clip can be removed and the nerves can be reconstructed.

During the cutting surgery, the nerves are completely cut away. Although this may help with facial blushing, the website states that the "disadvantage of this method is that it is extremely difficult to reconstruct the sympathetic nerves in the future."

Because facial blushing is not just a physical problem, but also a psychological one, there are therapies available. According to BetterHealth.vic.gov, cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) is a great way to treat blushing. "This treatment aims to help people change the way they think, feel and behave in social situations," therefore creating a calmer atmosphere for the sufferer.

There are also a number of medications that are available to facial blushers, such as: anxiety medications, beta blockers and clonidine. According to the website: "Anxiety medications...can help calm the person and reduce the frequency or severity of blushing; beta-blockers...can help manage some of the symptoms of anxiety, such as blushing and heart palpitations. Clonidine...is sometimes used to treat uncontrollable facial blushing. It works by changing the body's response to naturally occurring chemicals, such as noradrenaline, that control the dilation and constriction of blood vessels."

At-Home Treatments

There are a variety of at-home treatments for facial blushing that are easy and inexpensive. According to the "Doctor's Book of Home Remedies II," sucking on ice cubes during a moment of facial blushing will help because "holding ice chips in the mouth provokes a heat-opposing response." Stay away from face products/washes containing harsh chemicals that could irritate the skin. Also, skin blushing increases in cold weather, so putting on a little petroleum jelly in the wintertime will also prevent facial blushing. And during moments of severe facial blushing, Betterhealth.vic.gov suggests breathing techniques, since "many of the symptoms of anxiety are triggered by hyperventilation (rapid, shallow breathing), which depletes the blood of carbon dioxide. Slow, deep breaths can reduce anxious feelings" and reduce facial blushing.

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