Blushing

Blushing is a common problem that can be embarrassing and affect your day to day life. There are things you can do to help stop it.

How to help stop yourself blushing


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Do

  • breathe deeply and try to relax – read about breathing exercises you can do to help reduce stress and anxiety
  • keep cool by removing a layer of clothing and drinking water
  • wear make-up that reduces the redness of your skin in stressful situations like an interview or when giving a presentation

Don't

  • do not eat spicy foods or drink alcohol or hot drinks if they make you blush

Common causes of blushing

Lots of different things can cause blushing. It's often caused by feeling embarrassed, hot or anxious.

Sometimes other symptoms you have might give you an idea of what's causing it.

Symptoms Possible causes
A red face most of the time, small blood vessels can be seen under your skin, spots rosacea
Hot flushes, night sweats, vaginal dryness, low mood, reduced sex drive menopause
Sweating a lot, particularly in your armpits, hands, feet, face and groin excessive sweating
Swelling in your neck, anxiety and irritability, mood swings, difficulty sleeping, tiredness overactive thyroid

Some medicines can also cause blushing. Check the side effects of any medicine you're taking to see if blushing or flushing is listed.

See a GP if:

  • your blushing is affecting your everyday life
  • you think your blushing might be caused by a medical condition or a medicine you're taking

Treatments from your GP

Treatment for blushing will depend on the cause.

For example, your GP may suggest:

  • a talking therapy like cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) if your blushing is caused by stress or anxiety
  • medicines to help reduce anxiety, stop blushing or treat an underlying condition

Very rarely, surgery may be an option if blushing is severe and other treatments have not helped. But this can cause serious and long-lasting side effects.

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