Why do some people blush?

While Charles Darwin once called blushing "the most peculiar and most human expression of all," scientists have yet to figure out what exactly causes some people to blush.

While flushing is often confused with flushing, the two problems have very distinct differences. The redness usually spreads over more of the face and into the neck and upper chest. It also often has an identifiable physical cause, such as rosacea, menopause, carcinoid syndrome, or a negative reaction to certain types of prescription medications. By comparison, blushing is limited to the cheeks and is triggered by embarrassment or anxiety.

From a physiological point of view, redness occurs on the face because, per square millimeter, facial skin has more capillary loops, as well as more vessels per unit volume, than other parts of the body. Also, the blood vessels in the cheeks tend to be wider in diameter and closer to the surface of the skin. The fluid in the cheek tissue does not tend to obscure the blood vessels as much as it does in other parts of the body. When the body is confronted with stress, "fight or flight" responses kick in and release extra adrenaline which stimulates the sympathetic nervous system to cause facial flushing.

Many different types of people experience problems with blushing, but the condition is most apparent in those with very pale complexions. Although women tend to blush more often than men, they are also better at covering up their problem with skillful makeup application. Statistically, teens blush more often than adults, but scientists aren't sure if this is caused by the hormonal changes of puberty or a lack of proper coping mechanisms for stressful situations.

While many people blush at some point in their lives, the condition can cause serious lifestyle issues for certain people. People who blush regularly may feel so embarrassed about their problem that they avoid possible triggers, such as meeting new people, speaking in front of large groups, or trying new activities. People who modify their daily activities for fear of blushing are said to suffer from erythrophobia, a term that literally means "fear of redness". People with erythrophobia will experience symptoms such as dry mouth, nausea, shortness of breath, dizziness, heart palpitations, or excessive sweating when faced with a situation that has caused them to blush intensely in the past. Since erythrophobia is related to social anxiety disorder, the condition is generally treated in the same way.

Some people even suffer from a disorder known as idiopathic craniofacial erythema , which causes them to blush with little or no provocation. This condition is usually treated with cognitive behavioral therapy, although the most extreme cases can sometimes be helped by a surgical procedure called endoscopic transthoracic sympathicotomy, in which certain parts of the sympathetic nerve trunk are burned, excised, or cut to prevent reflex reflexes. blush. .

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