Facial Flushing

What Causes Facial Blushing Or Flushing?

Facial blushing or flushing can have various causes, ranging in severity from 'minor' to 'life-threatening'.  Finding the true cause means ruling out or confirming each possibility – in other words, diagnosis.

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Diagnosis is usually a complex process due to the sheer number of possible causes and related symptoms.  In order to diagnose facial blushing or flushing, we could:

  • Research the topic
  • Find a doctor with the time
  • Use a diagnostic computer system.
The process is the same, whichever method is used.

Step 1: List all Possible Causes

We begin by identifying the disease conditions which have "facial blushing or flushing" as a symptom.  Here are four possibilities:
  • Caffeine Intoxication
  • Electrical Hypersensitivity
  • Rosacea
  • Carcinoid Cancer

Step 2: Build a Symptom Checklist

We then identify all possible symptoms and risk factors of each possible cause, and check the ones that apply:
mild facial burning/tingling
coffee consumption
low tryptophan levels
dark/flushed facial coloring
low diastolic blood pressure
itchy skin
frequent unexplained nausea
chronic nausea
visible veins on face
slightly black/tarry stools
negative reaction to coffee
... and more than 30 others

Step 3: Rule Out or Confirm each Possible Cause

A differential diagnosis of your symptoms and risk factors finds the likely cause of facial blushing or flushing:
Cause Probability Status
Rosacea 93% Confirm
Carcinoid Cancer 29% Unlikely
Caffeine Intoxication 2% Ruled out
Electrical Hypersensitivity 2% Ruled out
* This is a simple example to illustrate the process

Arriving at a Correct Diagnosis

The Analyst™ is our online diagnosis tool that learns all about you through a straightforward process of multi-level questioning, providing diagnosis at the end.

In the Skin-Related Symptoms section of the questionnaire, The Analyst™ will ask the following question about facial flushing:
Do you experience facial blushing, flushing or redness more frequently or intensely than would be considered normal? Do not count blushing during embarrassing situations.
Possible responses:
→ Don't know / I think I'm average
→ No, definitely not
→ Mild / occasionally
→ Moderate / sometimes
→ Major / often
Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either not being prone to facial flushing or facial flushing, The Analyst™ will consider possibilities such as:
Carcinoid Cancer

The facial flushing can be temporary or constant and usually appears suddenly on the face or neck.  The flush looks deep red or purple.  When this occurs, you may also feel warm, unpleasant, and have a rapid heartbeat.  The flush may last only a few minutes in early stages of carcinoid syndrome and may last hours during later stages.


Rosacea is often accompanied by a red face due to flushing.  Sometimes the affected skin is swollen and hot.

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