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Flushing | DermNet NZ
Facial flushing is a physiological response that can be attributed to many causes. For example, alcohol flush reaction , fever, exercise, emotions, inflammation, or allergies are just some of the reasons behind a markedly red face and other areas of the body. In rare cases, facial flushing can be a sign of a much bigger problem, including being a major symptom of carcinoid syndrome. Carcinoid syndrome is a group of signs and symptoms that are associated with tumors of the enterochromaffin cells. When rare cancerous tumors called carcinoid tumors secrete certain chemicals and hormones into your bloodstream, they cause a variety of symptoms. These cancerous tumors can be found in the intestines, appendix, rectum, lungs, stomach, pancreas, and thyroid. Carcinoid syndrome typically occurs in people who have advanced carcinoid tumors.
What can cause flushed skin?
Facial flushing also known as vasomotor flush can best be described as a hot, burning sensation that causes the face, neck, and chest to redden noticeably. It is usually accompanied by a hot flash , a sudden and intense warming of the body that can last anywhere from 30 seconds to five minutes. Hot flashes and facial flushing are relatively common symptoms that can range from being a simple annoyance to a more debilitating and distressing condition. While there are many causes for these conditions, menopause is one of the most common. Most women will not be surprised to hear that hot flashes occur in about 80 percent of menopausal women, most often in association with a rising flush from the chest to face.
Flushing occurs because the blood vessels in the skin dilate. When flushing is produced by activity of the nerves to the blood vessels, it is accompanied by sweating. Agents which act directly on the blood vessels cause dry flushing. Alcohol may also cause flushing while mushrooms are consumed, and in patients with the rare tumour , carcinoid. Note: E numbers are now on most NZ manufactured foods.