Blushing / erythrophobia & Facial / Hand Sweating
Facial Blush is a physiologic (normal) response to a variety of emotional stimuli. Facial blush is caused by overstimulation of the sympathetic nervous system. The mechanism is involuntary and anxiety may aggravate it, but the facial blush may also occur with or without stress or anxiety. Individuals with this condition were born to blush excessively.
A person with this condition may even be alone at home, reading a book or watching a movie, and the facial blush may come on unexpectantly with no apparent stimulus. The person with facial blush often stands out in a crowd. A constantly blushing and glowing red face attracts attention. It is often misinterpreted by others frequently misinterpret the blushing to mean that the afflicted is sick or embarrassed. Blushing causes severe embarrassment and frustration to anyone who has this syndrome and it can often lead to social phobia or other anxiety disorders.
What causes persistent redness of the face?
When the capillaries of the face are often filled with blood, through blushing, wind, or alcohol, the capillaries become stretched out, and do not have the strength to restrict, and therefore the blood cannot leave the face. In some cases, condition may lead to rosacea.
What is the difference between Blushing, Flushing and Rosacea?
Facial Blushing (FB) is a sudden reddening of the face, neck and occasionally, upper chest. People refer FB as a sudden redness appearing after a high level of anxiety.
Flushing is refered as a longer lasting redness of the face, neck and occasionally, upper chest caused by alcohol, migraine headaches, fever, sudden temperature changes, cramps, anxiety and more.
Rosacea is a disease affecting the skin of the face. Researchers now believe that there is some link between rosacea and how often (and how strongly) people flush or blush.
Research: Eisenburger, N & Lieberman, M (2004) Why rejection hurts: A common neural alarm system for physical and social pain. Trends in Cognitive Science Vol 8 (7): 294-300
Numerous languages characterize 'social pain', the feelings resulting from social estrangement, with words typically reserved for describing physical pain ('broken heart', 'broken bones') and perhaps for good reason. It has been suggested that, in mammalian species, the social-attachment system borrowed the computations of the pain system to prevent the potentially harmful consequences of social separation.
Mounting evidence from the animal lesion and human neuroimaging literatures suggests that physical and social pain overlap in their underlying neural circuitry and computational processes. We review evidence suggesting that the anterior cingulate cortex plays a key role in the physical-social pain overlap. We also suggest that the physical-social pain circuitry might share components of a broader neural alarm system.
Roth, D. et al (2001) Interpretations for anxiety symptoms in social phobia. Behaviour Research and Therapy. Vol 39 (2): 129-138
Examined the interpretations that people make for 4 visible symptoms typically associated with social anxiety (sweating, blushing, shaking, and shaky voice). Ss were 55 Canadians (mean age 35.51 yrs) with social phobia (SP; based on Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-IV (DSM-IV) criteria) and 54 Canadians without SP. Ss completed 1 of 2 versions of the Symptom Interpretation Scale (SIS; designed for this study), a scale asking Ss to rate the extent to which each of 8 interpretations is a likely explanation for the 4 anxiety symptoms (ASs). The Actor version asked Ss to judge how their own ASs are interpreted by others. The Observer version asked Ss to interpret ASs displayed by others. Two standard SP and anxiety scales were also completed by Ss as validation measures for the SIS. The results indicate that, when asked about ASs that they themselves exhibit, individuals with SPs are more likely to think that others interpret ASs as being indicative of intense anxiety or a psychiatric condition and are less likely to think that others interpret them as being indicative of a normal physical state. Data also suggests that those with SPs have a more flexible cognitive style when asked to interpret ASs exhibited by others than when asked about how others view their own.
Research: Do blushing phobics overestimate the undesirable communicative effects of their blushing?
De Jong, P & Peters, J. (2005) Do blushing phobics overestimate the undesirable communicative effects of their blushing? Behaviour Research and Therapy. Vol 43(6)
Previous research indicated that blushing has socially threatening revealing effects in ambiguous situations. To explain blushing phobics' fearful preoccupation with blushing, we tested the hypothesis that blushing fearful individuals overestimate its revealing effects. High (n = 20) and low (n = 20) blushing fearful individuals read vignettes describing prototypical mishaps and ambiguous social events. Participants were prompted in the perspective of the actor, and were asked to indicate their expectations of the observers' judgments (meta-perceptions). Blushing fearful individuals overestimated the probability and the costs of undesirable outcomes. However, this judgmental bias was not inflated by displaying a blush. Thus, the results provide no evidence to support the idea that fear of blushing is fuelled by a biased conception of its communicative effects.
Required disclaimer: Please be aware that we bring 100% of our effort and skill to the process, however, as with all practices, results may vary between individuals.