When your problem is a red, flushing face and ears! Causes and treatment options

My problem is severe flushing of face and ears though there are no papules and pustules. When there is a flush there is redness on face. When the flushing stops the face is normal. I have noticed that flushing is aggravated by heat and sometimes food. I am not able to identify the exact food trigger because the same food sometimes gives me flushing and sometimes not. The ears flush a lot. Can you please suggest something oral ingestion or some cream, lotion for only flushing doctor?. Thanks.

This can be really annoying! You don’t say how old you are, but when flushing is severe, it can interfere with confidence in work situations and in social situations. Please seek help for this. Often the skin disease rosacea starts with flushing, and then progresses to the more papules and pustular stage.

** Also note that there are several other causes of flushing that are internal, but are rare. If your flushing is getting worse, despite measures below, please see your primary care doctor, or an endocrinologist!

Flushing face and ears: dealing with your triggers

  • These can be quite individual. Basically, if something makes you flush immediately or over the next 24 hours, it’s probably a trigger. For example, one of mine is certain types of green tea.
  • The most common triggers for flushing are anxiety, heat, hot drinks (especially coffee), and alcohol. Here’s another blog I wrote on isolating your triggers.
  • Stop doing, eating, drinking the things that trigger you! I know this sounds obvious, but many people don’t. Practice impulse control 🙂
  • For a month or two, try a pretty strict anti inflammatory diet, to see if it works for you. Search this on the web or in books, there are several good ones. There is a connection between the gut and flushing and rosacea that we don’t understand very well.
  • Try adding a good quality probiotic slowly to your diet, and perhaps some fermented foods. The good quality ones generally need to be refrigerated. Look for them in a Whole Foods store.

Things to ask your doctor about your flushing face and ears

  • There is a new rosacea facial redness medication called Rhofade, which is working well for some patients. It’s a topical gel.
  • Avoid the medication Mirvaso, because many patients get worse, at least temporarily, when they go off it.
  • If your doctor thinks you have rosacea, other topical or oral medications may be helpful, which they can recommend.
  • Ask your doctor about low-dose Propranolol for facial flushing, if you tend to flush just when giving presentations or getting nervous.
  • Photorejuvenation/IPL (laser cousin) is generally more helpful for flushing than a pulsed dye laser like the VBeam. The Vbeam may be better for specific areas of enlarged or “broken” blood vessels.

Hope this helps,  Dr. I

Dr. Brandith Irwin, MD

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Hi, I’m Dr. Irwin. I believe that consumers deserve a medically trained and unbiased skin care advocate.

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