Facial flushing is part of having sensitive skin, a skin type characterized by overactive skin and blood vessels.

Doctor's opinion

Questions / Answers
  • Flushing is usually seen in people with a specific type of skin called “vaso-reactive”. Like skin color, vaso-reactivity is hereditary and more common in certain countries (like Scotland).

  • Certain situations can trigger “flushes” (redness and hot flashes). For example: food that is too hot, too spicy or eaten too quickly.

  • No! On the contrary….Beware of sunburns and the “heat effect”. It is recommended not to stay in the sun very long and to always use a high SPF sunscreen.

  • Antibiotics recommended for rosacea belong to the tetracycline family. They have been out for several dozen years and physicians know their effects very well. Many people (such as acne sufferers) have been treated for several months and the good tolerance of these drugs is well established. Your physician can tell you about the possible but rare side effects. Note: Tetracycline can increase sun sensitivity (and is not indicated for pregnant women and for children).

  • Lasers (there are several types) coagulate skin blood vessels and decrease their redness. The improvement in couperosis and chronic redness is quite noticeable. The procedure is not totally painless: There is a burning and tingling sensation during several minutes. Certain techniques (cooling, anesthetic cream) can help alleviate these symptoms.

  • Since it is a cosmetic procedure, it is not covered. Before making a decision, you can get information about the cost, benefits and possible immediate effects (bruises, swelling), the number of treatments necessary and the post-laser care that might be needed.


Sensitive skin react quickly and excessively to temperature changes, cold, wind, irritating cleansers and skin care products or ill-suited products….
Redness periods vary in length but are always unpleasant and bothersome.

They can affect all skin types: Dry, oily or combination skin.

A question of degree


Intermittent redness – the “flush”: It is a sudden reaction to vasodilation caused by:

Most often, a common but somewhat stressful situation such as an exam for a student, a job interview, an emotional conversation or a conflict…
A temperature change which challenges facial blood flow.
Food that is too hot, alcohol or certain food (spices, mustard…).
Rarely, an illness. Talk to your doctor, if necessary, he will prescribe appropriate tests.

Intermittent redness that becomes permanent: Erythrosis. 

During a flush, facial blood vessels dilate quickly, then go back to normal.After a while, flushing can become permanent, specially on the cheeks. That is called erythrosis.

Worsening erythrosis: Couperosise. 

Some blood vessels are more dilated than others and can be seen with a naked eye. These small red blood vessels (telangiectasias for your doctor) are what’s called couperosis.

Pimples appear:

Rosacea.Previously called acne-rosacea because, in addition to flushing, it involves pimples reminiscent of acne in teenagers.White pimples (pustules) particularly unsightly on the face…


Fortunately, in each case, treatments are available…
For best results, your doctor will start by eliminating skin diseases that might lead to facial redness, such as atopic dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, contact eczemas and irritation dermatitis…
Then, depending on the situation, he can prescribe:

Dermo-cosmetic products that have an effect on dilated facial blood vessels, such as plant-based Ruscus, for example. In any case, it has to be used for a while in order to see results.
Oral antibiotics (Tetracyclines are the most widely prescribed).
Topical treatments, most often Metronidazole.
Electrocoagulation of dilated blood vessels.
Vascular laser, more recent, deeper effect, reduces risks of scars.

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