Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Why does my face get so red when I exercise?"
Whenever I exercise, whether I'm running or playing sports or whatever, my face gets really red. Is this normal/okay? Is something wrong with my face or the way I sweat? Is my body overheating?
Your face reddening during a workout may look frightening, but in most case it is no cause for alarm. It is actual just a sign that you're working hard and building up heat. While exercising for an extended period of time, your body temperature begins to climb and is also producing heat. Your body temperature increases at a faster rate than your body's cooling system can lower your temperature. In response, your body triggers your sweat glands to take action in keeping itself cool, but it also dilates the blood vessels in your skin to reduce your overall body temperature. Your face turns bright red. It is one way that your body rids itself of heat by increasing warm, oxygenated blood flow to the surface of your skin so that heat can be radiated off it to prevent you from overheating. That being said, you should continue paying close attention to your body during a workout routine and learning your physical cues for distress or discomfort that may help you prevent an illness during exercise. If your body becomes too overheated, you may experience heat exhaustion leading to heat stroke, a dangerous medical condition. I would suggest a consultation with a primary care physician. Although a red face brought on during exercise is normal in general, your doctor can rule out any other possible health conditions that cause a red face during or after physical exertion.
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