Zocdoc Answers

Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"Is there a cure for skin flushes?"

ZocdocAnswersIs there a cure for skin flushes?


I'm red-headed and very fair, and I flush extremely easily. Sometimes I get flushed and stay that way for hours. Is there a way to stop that reaction, or a medicine I can take to suppress it? It's embarassing and I want to be cured of this constant flush.


Flushing is a physiologic (that is, normal) process by which the body diverts a greater than normal amount of blood to the skin, thereby providing a warm, red appearance and sensation. Many people experience this regularly, and those with lighter skin often have this more readily apparent. Like yourself, it can reach a troublesome stage. While there is little to treat the specific flushing, there are steps that can be done to limit the causes or exacerbating factors. As such, I would recommend that you see your doctor. Flushing is the process where blood is diverted to the skin. This is caused by hormonal regulation and local chemical regulation of the blood vessels. Flushing is often used in reference to a severe condition, whereas blushing is classified as a minor redness of the cheeks. The blood is diverted by the chemical release of norepinephrine (the stress hormone) and histamine (the allergy chemical). As such, conditions that increase either or alter either can exacerbate it. Flushing is often caused by an allergic reaction. If this is the case for you, anti-histamines may be helpful. It is occasionally caused by panic or stress, this may be treated with beta blockers or benzodiazepines. Keep in mind factors such as alcohol, caffeine, smoking can all increase this so should be avoided. There is no specific treatment for flushing, but causes of it can be controlled. I would talk to your primary doctor to have this evaluated. Also not there is a type of cancer known as carcinoid syndrome where there is significant flushing -- you should have this ruled out. Often it is associated with diarrhea and wheezing as well.

Zocdoc Answers is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.