Discussions By Condition: Allergies

Spontaneous flushing and redness of face and body.

Posted In: Allergies 206 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • September 18, 2006
  • 07:03 PM

I don't know if I am posting this in the right section, but if someone could help me with this, I would greatly appreciate it. For some reason, I turn extremely red in the face and body. This has been happening to me a few years now, and I really just started noticing how red I turn. I don't know how or why it happens...and it's not just my face either, my neck, arms, and chest turn red as well. Sometimes, it's spontanious, and I just turn red for no reason whatsoever, and then there are other times when I get nervous, embarrassed, and I turn red. The weird thing is, is that I can be talking to someone that I am completely comfortable around and i'll turn red. So it's not just when i'm nervous, or embarrassed. But It happens soo quick, it takes like 1 second for my entire upper body to turn red. People get turned off when i turn red, and they quit talking to me or they look away so they aren't staring at this red faced person. But anyway, I don't smoke, drink, do drugs, and i'm not on any form of medication. This is really messing up my social life, and if there is anybody out there that can help, you would be a life saver. I'm 19 years old, and tryin to get through college and hold a job, and this problem of mine doesn't make it easy at all.

Please, someone help me out.

Jordan

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  • I have had many of the symptoms described. Pretty much any emotion other than calm causes my neck, chest, face and arms to turn blotchy or bright red. If i turn red a few times a day a migraine will almost always follow. Also working out and most physical activity causes the same redness. I am 30 and healthy overall. I am going to the doctor to talk about "anti-anxiety" meds. I think trying to take medicine prior to big meeting, speeces and interviews will help with the majority of issues that this problem causes. Also, I know that splashing cold water on my face or rubbing ice on my skin helps as well (but who can really do that in the middle of an important meeting?) Overall, I feel that this is our bodies way of letting out stress that we would otherwise suppress.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Have any of you been checked for a Pheochromocytoma? It's a tumor of the adrenal glands (normally found on top of the kidneys) and can cause this sort of flushing. Usually also causes other symptoms like tremors, excessive sweating, racing heart (tachycardia), anxiety, headaches, etc. Tests are quite simple to have done: 24 hour urinary catacholamines and metanephrines or a serum catacholamines. Any doctor can prescribe them.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • November 16, 2007
    • 07:05 PM
    • 0
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  • Pheo's are very rare and accompanied by sudden bouts of high blood pressure, rapid pulse, weight loss, and severe headaches. When I say high blood pressure, I mean going from 113/70 to 152/105 at random and laying down, relaxing,- nothing makes it go away. They are so rare that every hospital I have been to I have been swarmed by Dr's and their students. I tested positive on a 24 hour urine test, then my MRI was inconclusive, and then I was sent for a radioactive MIBG scan.
    CassAnn 25 Replies
    • November 18, 2007
    • 01:23 AM
    • 0
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  • Bless all of you! I can't tell you how many times doctors have looked at me like I am crazy when I tell them about my wierd symptoms. I have severe spontaneous flushing to cranberry color with swelling of my face, shortness of breath, weakness, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and headache that lasts for at least 24 hours. It is incapacitating. I am 54 and remember my first episode when I was about 14 and in high school. So it has been 40 years of doctors saying, "Hmmm . . .if it happens again come back to see me." Are you sure it is not anxiety?" I finally have a doctor who is curious about it and has ordered some tests that I have not had before. I do not have an answer yet. Has anyone ever heard about a condition called mastocytosis? It fits for me and I am going to ask my doctor about it (even though I know doctors HATE patients who self-diagnose). I have never heard about anyone else having such symptoms before!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi, I am a 48 year old female living in Pennsylvania. I read all of the posts here, and your post and one other person were the ones I could most identify with. She/he had also commented on getting red on only half of their face as you did.I get both the full red face, and occassionally the half red face. I developed Rosacea in my early 30's, and I know what I am experiencing is not a flare up of Rosacea, although that is what the doctors keep telling me it is. When I am having a flare up of Rosacea I don't know it until I look into the mirror. With this, as you said, I feel it coming on. I don't get the sweating on one side as you described, but yes, the other side is cool and dry. Your description of your skin not being able to breathe is exactly what I have described my face feeling like, too. On the really bad occurences I will have a fan blowing directly on my face, and if I move away from the fan it feels like my face is cooking. I also found out that if I put a frozen water bottle behind my neck, that in about 30 minutes the symptoms will go away. I have tried aspirin, too, and have had pretty good results with that most of the time. I think I first started to try aspirin because I thought I was running a fever when this was happening. I can't remember why I tried the frozen water bottle. You said yours is more troublesome in the summer, but my episodes start late in the year when the weather turns cool and lasts until Spring. This has gone on for 3 years, and today I had my first episode for the fall, so I guess I am starting another season of this.Whenever I can catch it on tv, I watch mystery diagnosis on the Discovery Health Channel in the hopes that someone will I have what I do. There was only one show they called The Purple Puzzle where this guy was diagnosed with cold agglutinin disease, but it was actually a symptom of a bigger problem he had with his spleen. I have had many expensive tests done in the past 3 years, and have gone both to an endocronologist and neurologist. Unfortunately nothing shows upon any of these tests (MRI, CT Scan, CAT Scan). I know something is wrong, and even the neurologist felt I had a tumor somewhere in my body that was causing all of these symptoms. The one thing that is almost always present when this happens is a headache. I start feeling pressure over both ears -- it seems like blood is rushing to my head. I start cracking my neck when this happens, which is something I never do in any other situation, and I get some relief. I don't feel well when this is occurring -- what I mean to say is that is more than just being red. I don't feel well -- it is almost like I stood on my head for awhile and righted myself up and my blood pressure is out of balance. Oh, often just before the onset of one of these episodes, one or both of my hands will become extremely cold (I believe the blood has left my hands and has gone to my head) or I get a strange chilled sensation across my shoulders and the red face will emerge shortly thereafter. It is like a circulation disorder. I guess we self diagnosis when we can't get answers from the doctor. I would really be interested in knowing if you also share any of the other symptoms I have. I can't believe I've FINALLY found others who have this same thing I've been dealing with for years now! My dad calls me 'BraveHeart' because only one side of my face turns bright red (it literally looks like someone has drawn an invisable line down the middle of my face) , I pop out in awful sweats while the other side is cool and dry to the touch, and I can feel it coming on (I begin to feel as though someone has wrapped my face in plastic wrap and my skin can't 'breathe'). I have also noticed that it happens mostly during the summer months, and it seems that I am extremely sensitive to heat and vigorous movement. Also, being post-menapausal, when I get a hot-flash, I light up worse than Rudolph the red nose reindeer! And yes, it is EXTREMELY embarassing. Back when I was about 9 years old, a dog literally tore off my right side cheek and down near my jugular. Over the years as this 'red-thing' has developed, I wondered if it might have something to do with the severance of the nerves in my face. I have asked several doctors over the years but they all either beat the leaves off the bush to my questions and never really get around to telling me anything, or they blatantly ignore it and move on to another subject. Recently I spoke to a neurologist who told me it was some kind of 'auto-response delay' thing going on. The way he explained it was that when people have trauma to an area and nerves are affected, this 'thing' develops due to recieving 'mixed signals'. He really didn't have too much to say beyond that, and when I asked him what can be done to correct it, he shrugged his shoulders and left me with the impression that nothing CAN be done. But I just can't believe that. I mean, SURELY SOMEONE out there knows EXACTLY what this is and how to treat it!!(??). I am SO VERY thankful to have found this forum and know now that others are out here struggling with the same issues. If anyone has any more info, I would SO much appreciate it and would love to swap info as we get it! Thanks y'all, and hope to get some feedback!
    Monica C 3 Replies
    • October 29, 2008
    • 00:28 AM
    • 0
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  • Your stories helped me, so maybe mine will help you at least get a laugh about our curse. I have this delightful red-face syndrome, too. I first found out I had it in 6th grade when a girl next to my desk burst out laughing because some papers spilled out of my desk in a crazy pattern. I felt uncomfortable with the public attention and my face immediately felt flushed and hot. Suddenly, she was pointing at my face and shrieking about how red it was. Then the whole class turned to look and burst out laughing, so I had to assume the redness turned an exquisite purple and was very visible from at least 30 feet away. Public attention always makes me self-conscious, but oddly enough, I was vice president of the student council at the time, so I was used to speaking in front of groups - in fact I had to give more school-wide speeches before and after two more elections in upper grades. After graduation, I continued to willingly give speeches in front of large groups and I just stayed focused on the serious task at hand. But because of the red-face syndrome I would never dare to try acting on stage.Ever since my 6th grade classmates cheerfully pointed it out to me, my face and ears go bright red whenever I feel embarrassed – precisely because I’m afraid that embarrassment will show on my face. It doesn't take much to trigger it. The redness goes away quickly, but I can't control it, and if I try not to think about blushing, I turn red anyway. And if people say, "why are you turning red?" that just makes it more red, or so they tell me. Laughs all around, to everyone’s amusement.To make things worse, I found out in elementary school that whenever a teacher or someone would announce that some unknown kid had pulled some prank or run off with ill-gotten gains, I would feel embarrassed for the whole group being accused and then I’d turn red even though I was innocent. This has continued in adulthood; isn’t that perfect? And so in adulthood, I also turn red when I feel embarrassed for someone else’s public mistakes or foolish comments. And I turn red when I feel someone is suspicious of me or my motives even though I’m innocent. In some situations, if I’m afraid I’ll turn red, the discomfort then makes me turn red and I’ll look guilty when I’m not guilty. Even thinking about it or experiencing unwanted attention will trigger an event. After reading 12 pages and every one of your touching stories, I’ll try to keep a cold pop can in arm’s reach and be ready with a quip before those tactless people torture me about my blush.I deeply appreciate the doctor’s free online comments above, so for everyone’s cumulative research: Doctors have always said I have really healthy blood pressure and low cholesterol. I’m a vegetarian, eat organic and always avoid MSG so I don’t think the red-face syndrome is caused by additives. I don’t have caffeine, I’m not a smoker, I’ve never had medications and I never get headaches. I was a light drinker in my youth, but haven’t had alcohol or any recreational drugs for over 30 years. I’m fair-skinned and women have always complained about my cold hands and feet. Good luck to you all!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I completely agree with this post. I spontaneously flush for no apparent reason, whether in a small setting, in the check-out line at the grocery store, with family members, or all by myself. It is very frustrating, especially since I am a teacher and speak in front of students and adults everyday! I even enjoy speaking in front of parents, as Back to School night is one of my favorite nights of the year. I periodically check the internet for "cures" for this annoying and embarrassing issue of flushing, but have found none that work. I have seen my doctor, who has helped me steer clear of foods that also cause migraines (I don't get them, but she thinks these symptoms are related). I do get VERY red when I work out (always have). In general, the random flushing really started about four years ago, when I was 23 and out of college. I also sweat a lot, but not really out of my armpits, and I figure maybe I'm just a sensitive person whose nervous system works incredibly well! I have also wondered if Yazmin has triggered flushing, but when I went off of it for two years, the flushing gradually became worse. Oh, and I eat well, exercise five times a week, and don't smoke or drink. I sleep over 8 hours a night and do things I love. I find, like many of you, that holding cold beverages or drinking cold water (anything cold against the skin), helps lessen the flushing. I sometimes try mind tricks ("you won't get red, you won't get red") but these usually fail. Recently I found that if I cause some sort of minor pain to other parts of my body, my face doesn't get AS red (such as pushing my fingernail into my skin). This doesn't cause any damage, and I don't do it in a psycho manner, but it does seem to divert the redness.Although it is frustrating to know that my emotions (surprise, irritation, happiness) are so easily read on my face, it is comforting to know that others get red for no apparent reason as well. Yes, sometimes I get red because I'm anxious or embarrassed...but I wouldn't be posting this if that was all this is. I have told people, "I flush" and that I know my face is red so they no longer need to inform me. :) I don't want to take anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medicine since I don't feel that my symptoms warrant them and that they come with many debilitating side effects. I will continue to check forums and see what happens!
    Anonymous 42789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have been dealing with severe facial and neck flushing for the past 8 years. It has caused so many problems in my life that I don't even know where to begin. I have always been a very bubbly outgoing, happy person. Since the flushing has started to occur I have become more of an introvert and suffer from anxiety. Everyday events have become a challenge for me... job interviews, presentations at school, showing any form of emotion, being caught of guard or put on the spot or even just a conversation with someone I am really comfortable with. Everyone seems to notice when it happens and draws attention to it which makes it that much worse. I even had a teacher freak out and ask me if she needed to call an ambulance. When the flushing episodes occur my brain pretty much shuts off and its really hard to stay focused on the task at hand. I loose my train of thought and I end up looking like an idiot that has no clue what I'm talking about.I have had severely high blood pressure readings when these episodes occur but am a healthy and active 27 year old. I'm pretty sure the high bp readings are due to the stress my body undergoes during an episode. I also end up with severe headaches after.Is there any sort of treatment out there for this? I'm so sick of the person this has turned me into and want my personality and life back. It's however refreshing to know that I am not alone in this.
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 26, 2010
    • 04:56 AM
    • 0
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  • I have been dealing with severe facial and neck flushing for the past 8 years. It has caused so many problems in my life that I don't even know where to begin. I have always been a very bubbly outgoing, happy person. Since the flushing has started to occur I have become more of an introvert and suffer from anxiety. Everyday events have become a challenge for me... job interviews, presentations at school, showing any form of emotion, being caught of guard or put on the spot or even just a conversation with someone I am really comfortable with. Everyone seems to notice when it happens and draws attention to it which makes it that much worse. I even had a teacher freak out and ask me if she needed to call an ambulance. When the flushing episodes occur my brain pretty much shuts off and its really hard to stay focused on the task at hand. I loose my train of thought and I end up looking like an idiot that has no clue what I'm talking about.I have had severely high blood pressure readings when these episodes occur but am a healthy and active 27 year old. I'm pretty sure the high bp readings are due to the stress my body undergoes during an episode. I also end up with severe headaches after.Is there any sort of treatment out there for this? I'm so sick of the person this has turned me into and want my personality and life back. It's however refreshing to know that I am not alone in this.What you have stated, is near on identical to me :(The difference is, I'm male and 25.My day to day tasks, revolve around it, even saying 'No' to family meals, events etc, and coming up with silly excuses :(Over these last few years, people must think I've become un-sociable, but I only do it to prevent from being put into a situation where I'll go red. Social anxiety now too?I know I'm confident underneath this 'red' face, it kills me.I dread the days when I have kids, and I've got to face parents evenings...
    Anonymous 42789 Replies
    • February 27, 2010
    • 00:38 AM
    • 0
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