What Causes Flushed Cheeks?


Quick Answer

According to the National Health Service of the U.K., flushed cheeks, or "blushing," is a result of the involuntary nervous system responding to stress or embarrassment. Your face muscles relax, which allows your face's blood vessels to expand and take in more blood, causing the reddish hue of blushing.

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What Causes Flushed Cheeks?
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Full Answer

The NHS explains that when you become stressed or embarrassed, your body has a natural and, unfortunately, uncontrollable reaction. Your involuntary nervous system, which also controls your heartbeat and breathing, makes your body react physically to outside stimuli. Often, this response is accompanied by a release of adrenaline, which causes the panicky feeling that often accompanies embarrassment.

Other causes of blushing include alcohol consumption, fever, eating spicy food, exercising and exposure to heat. Certain medications can cause blushing, and blushing can also be associated with medical conditions like social anxiety, menopause and rosacea.

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