How to Prevent a Flushed Face during Exercise

If you are concerned about having a flushed face during exercise, you should know that it’s nothing serious to worry about. The redness occurs when your heart rate is elevated and blood rushes through your dilated blood vessels. Your cheeks have many of these vessels close to the surface of the skin, which causes that rosy blush when you are working out.

Can It Be Prevented?

Since the redness does not reflect any serious underlying health condition, you need not be concerned about it. It’s a natural biological response to physical exercise, just like sweating. If you do feel embarrassed about it, there are some steps you can take that will keep from aggravating the problem:

  • Take frequent mini cool-down breaks to lower your heart rate somewhat (don’t do this too quickly or you can risk fainting).
  • Find an exercise that doesn’t raise your heart rate to such an extreme. For example, you can switch to a lower setting on an exercise bike or elliptical machine, or switch to a non-impact aerobic workout like Pilates or yoga.
  • If you exercise outdoors, be sure you are wearing sunscreen and adequate sun protection, such as a hat or long sleeves. Sun and wind exposure can aggravate flushed skin.

Do I Need to Be Worried?

Flushed skin can be a sign of some rare illnesses, such as some cancers and lupus. But by and large, it is nothing to worry about. There are a few more factors that can cause skin redness, such as:

  • Eating spicy foods
  • Drinking too much alcohol
  • Hormonal changes, such as pregnancy or menopause
  • Rapid temperature changes (moving from the warm indoors into cold outdoor air)
  • Medications

The best way to prevent reddened skin is to avoid spicy foods and alcohol, and wear sunscreen when you go outdoors–even in the winter. Some skin cleansers are also too harsh for sensitive skin and can contribute to redness. If you need a recommendation for a gentle skin cleanser, you might want to consult with a dermatologist. She will be able to recommend the proper skin products that are gentle enough for your skin.

What to Do If You Are Concerned

If you are concerned that your rosy cheeks are a sign of some underlying illness or condition, it’s worth consulting with a physician. Before you go in for your visit, try keeping a journal about the redness for a few weeks. See if you can pinpoint any underlying triggers. Are there certain foods that cause the flush? What about skin products that you use? By noting any factors that can cause the flush, you can help your doctor figure out the cause. Chances are your face will not be flushed when you see the physician, so any descriptions you can give (degree of redness, pattern of rash, etc) will really assist him in finding the cause.

Go with the Glow

But chances are, your rosy glow is merely the result of strenuous exercise. If that’s the case, you should totally go with the glow. Your flushed skin is a sign of your commitment to exercise and a healthy lifestyle, so you should flaunt it!


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