Hot flushes, more often known as hot flashes, occur when blood vessels near the skin's surface dilate, according to WebMD. The cause of this is not known, though they may be related to circulation. Hot flushes can also refer to hot flashes accompanied by redness in the face and neck.
Hot flashes accompanied with sweating that happen at night are called night sweats and can interrupt sleep, notes WebMD. They are a common symptom of menopause but can occur during any part of a woman's life, usually decreasing in severity as she ages. Menopause-triggered hot flashes cannot be entirely prevented, but it is possible to identify triggers such as caffeine, stress, alcohol, spicy foods, smoke or other things. It may also be possible to ameliorate the symptoms by keeping the bedroom cool at night, keeping a chill pillow, exercising daily and practicing deep breathing exercises.
Treatments for hot flashes are usually short-term, with a common suggestion being hormone replacement therapy, also known as HRT, according to WebMD. HRT should last no longer than five years and may be able to prevent other symptoms of menopause. However, once HRT ceases, the hot flashes may begin to reoccur. Prescription and non-prescription treatments are provided, as well as alternative therapies such as soy products, flaxseed and black cohosh.