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Name: Kathryn M.
Status: student
Age: 16
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 10/1/2003

Why do we blush? Does anyone know the reason?

Hi Kathryn!

Do not worry young lady, every body can blush one time or another! Facial blushing is usually the result of emotion, shyness, fear, anything that happens suddenly or that is embarrassing. It is normal and caused by over-activity of the sympathetic nervous system. When some awkward situation happen and one feels uneasy, the result can be an increase of adrenalin production. Adrenalin is an stimulant hormone that speeds the heartbeat and makes the blood to run a little faster. As a visual result the tiny capillaries under the skin increase their size a little bit and the result is: a reddish face! that is why also fair skins blush much more than dark ones. But...adrenalin has also wonderful results other than make the face red: it can help a person in difficult and challenging situations allowing to go through them and to achieve good solutions and results.

How can I beat the blush?

Ease the pressure by recognizing a blush often feels much worse than it looks. What is more, it just shows you are sensitive to your environment and in touch with your emotions. That is no bad thing - especially if you have pinked up because you are asking someone out!

Blushing can be habit forming - you wind up fearing the tell tale signs, which only fuels the problem. Next time you are in a potentially embarrassing situation, shift the focus away from your own feelings and focus on whatever the people/person you are with is saying/doing. Ask lots of questions, and show an interest in them - with practise, you will forget all about going red, and your body will not bother trying. A little foundation on your neck and cheeks will not stop you turning scarlet, but it will disguise that fact and leave you feeling a little more comfortable. Unless you are a standard-issue chap, in which case it might leave you feeling more self-conscious than ever before. If your efforts fail to improve the situation, consult your doctor. Chronic blushing is a psychological issue, and your GP can recommend an effective counselling programme to help identify any issues in your life that have led to this situation.

And thanks for asking NEWTON!

Mabel (Dr.Mabel Rodrigues)

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