Flushing and redness is a type of rosacea a fairly common chronic skin condition that affects the face (cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, or eyelids).  It is a long-term condition that will worsen over time if not treated.  The cause of this inflammatory skin condition is still unknown.

Flushing and redness tends to begin after middle age (ages 30 to 60) and is most common in fair-skinned people.  It is often mistaken for adult acne and, although the condition is not life threatening, even mild symptoms can seriously affect quality of life.


The most common causes (etiologies) of Flushing or Redness are fever, hyperthermia, menopause, emotional blushing, or Rosacea. Flushing may be categorized as autonomic-mediated or vasodilator-mediated flushing. Autonomic flushing syndromes include thermoregulatory flushing, emotional flushing, and flushing related to a central nervous system disorder. Vasodilator flushing may be caused by exogenous agents (drugs, alcohol, food) or endogenous hormones resulting from systemic disease.

Flare-ups are usually caused by “triggers,” which are things that make symptoms worse. Common triggers include:

  • Eating hot or spicy foods, or drinking hot drinks
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Being too hot or cold
  • Sunlight
  • Stress and other strong emotions


flushing and redness affects the cheeks, nose, chin, forehead, or eyelids. Symptoms include:

  • Redness
  • Blushing easily
  • Raised, red bumps with or without pus in them – similar to acne in appearance
  • Tiny, swollen blood vessels on the skin (called “telangiectasias”)
  • A burning or gritty feeling in the eyes
  • A red, swollen, and rounded nose
  • Stinging or Itchiness
  • Skin thickening in later stages

70% of  patients said the condition had lowered their confidence and self-esteem, and 41% said it had caused them to avoid public contact or cancel social engagements.

Treatment Options

Treatment for Flushing and redness can take several forms. The treatments do not cure flushing and redness, but they help control symptoms and prevent flare-ups.

  • Laser Therapy: IPL (Intense Pulsed Light) laser treatments have been found highly effective in the treatment of flushing and redness, as well as other conditions like melanoma (redness). IPL treatments for flushing and redness significantly reduce the symptoms and, depending on skin care regimen, may produce results that last from 6 months up to three years. One of the best treatment options available today is the Cutera Excel V IPL Laser.
  • Chemical Peel: Sometimes a combination of IPL treatment and Salicylic Acid peel treatments can effectively reduce the symptoms for longer periods of time.
  • Medicines – Topical formulations (such as gels, creams, or lotions that are applied to the skin) or oral pills are available but may require long term use.
  • Lifestyle changes – To help control symptoms and prevent flare-ups, you should avoid the common triggers listed above and any other triggers that you know will worsen your symptoms