Why do we blush?

Blushing occurs when you are in a state of excitement, anger or embarrassment. Children and young people are more prone to blushing and some people easily and frequently blush when they are confronted by stressful situations. Unfortunately, the fear of blushing (erythrophobia) causes even more embarrassment and blushing.

Blushing is not under your voluntary control as it is caused by the autonomic nervous system that controls the muscles of the blood vessels of your face. In an embarrassing situation your body releases adrenaline as part of the fight or flight response. This hormone triggers the blood vessels to dilate, and the increased blood flow in your cheeks makes your face red.

Besides our emotional state, high temperatures, alcohol and certain illnesses and medications can also cause us to have flushed faces.