Problems tackled: 43,337

Success Story: Chronic Facial Blushing (Reddening)

Thank you to Jane from the UK, for sharing how she persevered in getting the right advice to tackle her abnormal facial reddening (pathological blushing) with well-considered surgery. This is Jane’s story …

Chronic facial blushing

 

You are not alone

Blushing is a more common problem than people think, but when you suffer from it you feel like you are the only one and it can be very isolating. But you are not alone! Take a look at the website for Chronic Blushing Help, a support group for those with abnormal facial reddening.

Talk to your doctor

I have suffered with this problem since my teens. I really do advise you to see your GP. The first GP I saw told me that there was nothing she could do. However, last year I decided I really wanted to have something done about it, so I booked an appointment. I then wrote to my GP (a different one) explaining my situation before I went, as I knew it would be hard to tell her in person. She was incredibly understanding and referred me to a specialist at the hospital. This also gave me the courage to talk to my parents about it. Don't suffer alone – it really does help to tell someone about it if you can. And be assured that you are NOT alone!

Research the options

Before I went to my GP, I had researched various ways of tackling my blushing problem. I knew the problem wasn't psychological or personality based. I am not shy, and enjoy being with people. I read about an operation called ‘ETS’ (endoscopic thoracic sympathectomy). This is used to treat excessive sweating but can also work for many people who flush excessively as it cuts the nerve that supplies the blood to the face and neck. However, there is the possibility of long-term side effects so other avenues of treatment are considered first.

Discuss the pros and cons

I spoke to my GP about it – she had never heard of it. However, she wrote to a local specialist and, to cut a long story short, I had the operation a month ago. So far I am delighted with the results. It is not an operation to be considered lightly, and the consultant I saw gives patients a month to think about it. You will read many things on the internet about the negative effects of the surgery (much more than the success stories), so I would advise you to see your GP and talk it through. They may suggest other options first, but going to see them is the first step to improving things.

If you are in the UK, this might help to take to your GP: www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Blushing/Pages/Treatment.aspx

Written by: Site visitor - Jane, from the UK
Edited by: embarrassingproblems.com
Last updated: Friday, June 6th 2014

 


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Fascinating facts

In the 18th and 19th centuries, women who blushed were regarded as very attractive

In Victorian times, flushes at the menopause were treated by applying leeches to suck blood out of the skin

A famous Victorian doctor, Brown-Sequard, recognized that flushes at the menopause were caused by shutting down of the ovaries. He recommended that women should eat a daily sandwich containing two sheep's ovaries

Sheep, primates and humans are the only animals that have menopausal flushes (Financial Times 2003; August 9)

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