Severe Facial Blushing: Treatment Options to Consider
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Published by TOP4 Team
For most people, blushing is a bodily experience that wouldn't normally be a cause for concern. After all, it's a natural response to embarrassment or stress—your face involuntarily reddens and may feel hot whenever you encounter a situation that causes anxiety. Once the moment passes, so will the redness fade from the cheeks, and that would be the end of it.
For others, however, the blush does not go away and may even remain despite the absence of the typical triggers. Such cases require severe facial blushing treatment. Social anxiety and embarrassment stimulate the nerves and prompt blood vessels to open and send a rush of blood to the face, neck, ears and chest.
What are the signs?
Severe blushing occurs when the face displays intense redness for no apparent reason, as well as perspiration and a sensation of heat to the face.
This kind of blushing may be brought about by social anxiety or phobia, wherein a person feels persistent or extreme anxiety when they are in the middle of a performance, for example, and are concerned about being criticised, judged, humiliated or ridiculed by other people.
What treatments are available?
People who experience severe blushing can consider taking medication or undergoing certain surgical procedures.
Clonidine, in particular, is a drug that helps alter the body's response to chemicals (like noradrenaline)—chemicals that affect or control the constriction and dilation of blood vessels.
There is also the option of taking drugs called beta blockers. These drugs work to alleviate certain anxiety symptoms, like heart palpitations and blushing.
Cognitive behaviour therapy can be recommended. Since severe blushing is brought about by social phobias and anxieties, it can be helpful to get psychological guidance in confronting personal fears and learning to control one's breathing.
A person can also consult their physician about considering a more invasive procedure. An operation called endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy or ETS is designed to treat severe facial blushing. Ideally, this procedure would be the last resort if medication and therapy do not create a positive response. ETS is known to have a cure rate of 90 percent.
Keep in mind, however, that ETS comes with certain risk factors. Complications from the surgery may include drooping eyelids caused by nerve damage, chronic hand dryness, excessive sweating in other parts of the body, and general surgical risks such as infections and hemorrhaging.
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