Is There a Cure for Blushing?
If your face turns red a lot, you may be wondering how to stop blushing. Blushing is caused by a number of things, including embarrassment, anger, or even physical activity. While blushing itself is not harmful, it can be a sign that you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed.
The best way to stop blushing is paradoxically to stop caring whether you blush. While you may still be prone to blushing, it will dissipate more quickly if you can train yourself to not worry about it.
In addition to managing your reaction to your blushing, there are a number of strategies you can use to try to stop blushing in the first place. This can help you to feel more in control and prevent the blushing from happening as often.
1. Understand the Root Causes of Blushing
The physiology behind blushing involves the blood vessels in your face widening to allow more blood up near the skin. In other words, the nerves in your body are sending a signal to relax those muscles. Below are some of the reasons people are more prone to blushing:
- Genetics may play a role in how easily you blush.
- If you’re feeling anxious or embarrassed, that can trigger blushing.
- Some medications, like antihistamines, can cause your face to flush.
- Hot weather or drinking alcohol can make you more prone to blush.
- Medical conditions like rosacea can also cause your face to flush.
- Spicy food and caffeine can also cause your face to flush.
2. Identify Your Personal Triggers that Make You Blush
If you notice that certain things trigger your blushing, it may make sense to avoid them. For example, if you know that being in a crowded room makes you blush, try to find an opportunity to leave the room or take a break. Or, if you know that a particular person always makes you blush, it’s fine to avoid them if you can. While avoidance isn’t a cure, it can help you feel better in the moment.
3. Try Relaxation Techniques
One way to stop blushing is to try to relax your body and mind. This can be difficult if you’re feeling anxious or embarrassed, but there are some things that may help:
- Take slow, deep breaths through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
- Breathe in for a count of 4, hold briefly, and then breathe out for a count of 4.
- Count to 10 or 20 slowly in your head.
- Repeat a mantra or positive phrase to yourself (e.g., “I am calm and collected”).
- Practice progressive muscle relaxation, where you tense and relax different muscle groups in your body.
4. Use Distraction Techniques
If you feel a blush coming on, there are a few things you can do to try to distract yourself and prevent it from getting worse. For example, you could:
- squeeze your hands into fists
- count backward from 100
- focus on a spot on the wall or ceiling
- focus on the question you are asked rather than the person asking the question
- close your eyes briefly
5. Conventional and Alternative Treatments for Blushing
If you’re looking for more ways to stop blushing, there are a few options available. However, it’s important to talk to your doctor before trying any of these treatments, as they may not be right for everyone:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a type of therapy that can help you change the way you think and behave. It may be helpful in treating social anxiety disorder, which can cause blushing. The goal of cognitive therapy is to gradually work on the negative thoughts that you have about blushing. Eventually, you would develop new neural pathways in your brain that would be triggered when you are in a situation where you blush. Imagine you are in a meeting at work. Your supervisor puts you on the spot and singles you out about something. After the meeting, one of your coworkers says—wow, you really turn bright red, don’t you? The goal of cognitive therapy would be to change your thoughts about what happened. Instead of thinking, “Everyone thinks it’s weird when I blush,” you would learn to turn that into a more helpful thought like, “Some people might notice me blush, but it’s not really a bad thing.”
- Medications like beta-blockers or clonidine can help to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, like sweating and heart rate. These medications can have side effects, so it’s important to talk to your doctor before starting them.
- Botox injections can temporarily paralyze the muscles in your face. This can help to reduce blushing, but it’s important to talk to a doctor who is experienced in administering Botox before considering this treatment.
- Surgery is a last resort for people who have severe and uncontrollable blushing. There are a few different types of surgery that can be done, but they all come with risks and side effects. For people with very severe blushing, there is endoscopic thoracic surgery (ETS). Research has shown this to be an effective treatment for some people. This involves cutting the nerves that cause your facial muscles to dilate, preventing you from blushing. However, this surgery can have complications so it should be a last resort. It’s important to talk to your doctor about the potential risks and benefits before considering surgery.
6. Try Not to Worry About It
One way to stop blushing that might seem counter-intuitive is to accept the fact that you blush. Blushing is a natural reaction and there’s nothing wrong with it. So, if you can, try not to worry too much about it. Remember that everyone blushes from time to time and that it’s not a big deal.
When you start to blush, it can become easy to fixate on the problem. In fact, the fear of blushing is called erythrophobia and can be a real impediment to feeling okay with blushing.
However, there are lots of reasons why people blush. Some people blush for no reason at all (a condition called idiopathic craniofacial erythema). And, research shows that people who blush may actually be viewed as more trustworthy.
So, there is value in accepting the fact that you blush. If nothing else, feeling less focused on the fact that you blush may actually result in you blushing less.
If you’re finding it difficult to stop worrying about blushing, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist or counselor who can help you manage your anxiety.
7. Smile (It Will Help to Relax Your Facial Muscles)
When you first start to feel yourself blush, try smiling. This will help to relax the muscles in your face and may stop the blush from getting worse. Smiling also sends a signal to your brain that you’re happy and relaxed, which can help to stop the blush response. Research has shown that you will feel better under stress if you smile.
8. Cool Yourself Down Using Visualization or Physical Methods
Feeling as though you are getting hotter and hotter can contribute to blushing once it starts. One way to stop yourself from blushing is to get cool. When you feel a blush coming on, you can try to cool yourself down mentally and physically.
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You can do this by taking off clothing layers, drinking something cold, or moving to a colder location. If you know you’ll be in a situation where you might blush, drinking something cold beforehand might even help. Another way is to splash some cold water on your face or use a cold compress. If you’re in a public place and can’t get to a sink or restroom, you can also try holding an ice pack against your neck or wrists.
You can also practice some imagery if you find yourself becoming hot. Try imagining yourself jumping into an ice-cold lake and the cold water cooling you off. Another way to cool yourself down is to visualize a cold breeze blowing across your face. This act of visualization should help you to feel calm and cooler.
Psychotherapist Mark Tyrrell successfully used this technique with a client named “Robert” who practiced a form of self-hypnosis. This makes sense since blushing is an unconscious response rather than a conscious one. If you’d like to try your hand at self-hypnosis, there are hypnosis downloads available specifically for blushing.
9. Consider Using a Supplement
Supplements that help to reduce anxiety may also help to reduce blushing.
Below are some of the most popular anxiety-reducing supplements:
Talk to your doctor before taking any supplements, as they may not be right for everyone.
10. Wear Color-Correcting Makeup
If you’re worried about your blush showing through your foundation, you may want to try using green color-correcting makeup.
Color-correcting makeup is available in a variety of shades and can be used to cancel out redness on your face.
You can find color-correcting makeup at most drugstores or beauty stores.
11. Exercise Before an Event
If you’re worried about blushing during an upcoming event, you may want to try exercising beforehand.
Exercise can help to reduce anxiety and relax your muscles.
It’s best to exercise a few hours before the event so that you have time to cool down and relax afterward.
Some good exercises to try include walking, jogging, swimming, or yoga.
12. Rule Out Medical Causes and Medications
In some rare cases, blushing may be caused by an underlying medical condition.
If you’re concerned that your blushing may have a medical cause, it’s important to talk to your doctor.
Your doctor will be able to rule out any medical conditions and also let you know if any of your medications could be causing or worsening your blushing.
Why Do I Blush So Easily?
Most people blush occasionally when they feel embarrassed, anxious, or angry.
However, some people blush more easily and more often than others.
There are a few different things that can cause this:
1. Social anxiety
If you have social anxiety, you may be more likely to blush in social situations. This is because you may be worried about being judged or embarrassed in front of other people.
Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness and inflammation on the face. People with rosacea may blush more easily than those without the condition.
During menopause, some women may experience hot flashes, which can cause sudden feelings of warmth and sweating. These hot flashes can also trigger blushing.
Certain medications, such as beta-blockers and antidepressants, can cause blushing as a side effect.
If you’re concerned about your blushing, talk to your doctor. They can help you rule out any underlying medical conditions and determine if any of your medications could be causing or worsening your blushing.
How Do You Stop Blushing Immediately?
If you’re in a situation where you’re starting to blush, there are a few things you can do to try to stop the blushing immediately:
1. Take some deep breaths
Taking some deep breaths can help to calm your nerves and slow down your heart rate. This can help to stop the blushing from getting worse.
2. Think about something else
Trying to focus on something else can help to take your mind off of whatever is making you blush.
3. Cool down physically
Putting a cold compress on your face or neck can help to cool down your body and stop the blushing.
4. Relax your muscles
Tensing up your muscles can make blushing worse, so try to relax your muscles as much as possible.
5. Drink water
Drinking water can help to flush out any excess blood in your face and stop the blushing.
When to See a Doctor
If your blushing is frequent or severe, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition. You should see a doctor if your blushing:
- Is accompanied by shortness of breath
- Is accompanied by chest pain
- Comes on suddenly
- Occurs with fainting or dizziness
- Does not improve with self-care measures
If you’re concerned about your blushing, talk to your doctor. They can help determine the cause and recommend treatment options.
(Watch the video below from Youtuber Nerd With a Voice for a unique way to stop blushing based on advice from author and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl).
Have you had problems with blushing? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments.
Related Articles about Social Anxiety Symptoms
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- Safety Behaviors for Social Anxiety
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It happens all the time to me, blushing without even feeling embarrassed or guilty about a situation, it’s really uncomfortable. In the last years I learned to hide it with foundation makeup (it was there, but nobody could see it 😀 ).
I never asked myself why I am considering blushing something bad, maybe it’s not a bad thing after all.
That’s good you found something to help you! Though you are right, if you can consider it not a bad thing and not try to hide it, it actually might happen less (ironically so).