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What Happens to My Skin When Cupid Strikes?

It’s no mystery that flattery from a love interest can turn us red in the face, but blushing itself is a curious phenomenon not quite understood by modern science.

]When we get shy or embarrassed, as we often do when Cupid strikes, the same adrenaline hormone that is released by our body’s fight-or-flight response to a present danger is activated. 

Adrenaline causes blood vessels to dilate in the body to allow more blood flow than usual, but only when you are embarrassed do the veins in your face respond to adrenaline; the rest of the body’s veins are not affected by the hormone in this way.  Blushing may be written off as an innocent social cue, but for people with skin conditions like rosacea, blushing can aggravate and worsen their complexion. 

Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that affects more than 16 million Americans and 2 million Canadians.  Facial redness is one of the most common symptoms of rosacea and is often triggered by foods we love to romance with: chocolate, spice and yes, red wine. This puts a bit of a damper on token first date rituals like champagne, and chocolate dipped strawberries as it can cause those blushing cheeks to flare up in irritation. 

Even for those who don’t have a skin condition like rosacea, chocolates can aggravate the skin. This is not because of the cocoa, but because of the added sugar, dairy and hydrogenated oils they often contain. Alcohol of any kind causes the blood vessels to dilate and remain dilated until it is broken down by the liver.  Red wines in particular cause redness in the skin because of the chemical compound called tyramine that dilates blood vessels further.

So what can we do to control our blushing when love strikes? Since flushing cheeks and raised body temperatures are hard to control on a date, opting for an activity like ice skating or an evening stroll is a good way to keep both your face and body under control. If you have a skin condition such as rosacea, acne or eczema, get creative and plan a date that breaks away from the ordinary. Try cooking a healthy meal for your love or taking him/her on a snowshoeing adventure in the great outdoors. Regardless of what you do with your new crush always remember that the best medicine for your skin is to love it, and it will love you back.

Dr. Jason Rivers is one of Canada’s top dermatologists and the founder of Riversol Skincare Inc. He has published more than 135 articles in various journals. He is the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery and the associate editor of The Skin Therapy Letter. You can contact him on Twitter.com/Riversol or Facebook.com/Riversol. www.riversol.com

By Dr. Jason Rivers

 

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Dear Dish-It In The Forums

drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
@country_girl19, I agree with Athena. She might not realize how she's making you feel and it's best to talk to her about it, if not it could get worse. If nothing changes after talking with her, then I think you should rethink things. @WatermelonCurlz, I don't really think you should hang around them that much. They don't listen to you or seem to really care about the fact that you've talked about getting different friends. I'm not saying to just cut them off all together, but I wouldn't stray from the idea of slowly distancing yourself.
reply about 12 hours
JazzyRox
JazzyRox posted in Friends:
"WatermelonCurlz" wrote:OMG! OK so, I have a group to 3 friends (not including me) and they love this video game that I'm not allowed to play. And they know that, so they talk about it purposely around me. Omg, ikr.When I ask to talk about something else the ignore me. So I say, I'm going to go find real friends, and they say, OK, like me care. And that's all they want to talk about, at recess, lunch, secretly in class, you name it thye do it. How do I get them to stop?   You should probably just stop talking to them and stuff. don't sit by them at lunch and don't hang out with them at recess. they sound like they are not good friends. if it gets worse, just tell your parents if they don't already know. idk how good i am at advise. hope this helped.  ~JazzyRox
reply about 12 hours
WatermelonCurlz
OMG!OK so, I have a group to 3 friends (not including me) and they love this video game that I'm not allowed to play. And they know that, so they talk about it purposely around me. Omg, ikr.When I ask to talk about something else the ignore me. So I say, I'm going to go find real friends, and they say, OK, like me care. And that's all they want to talk about, at recess, lunch, secretly in class, you name it thye do it. How do I get them to stop?
reply about 13 hours
Abbergrl
Well I strongly agree with you all. It's like, wow I never knew so many people had this problem!
reply 2 days
Abbergrl
Abbergrl posted in Friends:
A perfect friend is one who respects your feelings and doesn't make fun of them but helps you feel better, who can drive you only slightly insane, and who will try to save you from embarrassing situations by making you see the funny side. :) :D
reply 2 days