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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

Froggers
theres this guy that i really REALLY like, im not sure if he likes me back. i put my mobile # on a piece of paper and slipped it in his locker, he hasn't texted or called me yet. Today at lunch i asked his friend to ask if he likes anyone but his friend keeps lying to me and won't tell me if he said anything. The guy and I were best friends in 5th grade but now that we're in different classes we don't talk much anymore. My friends said that i have a chance with him and that we have a lot in common, but im pretty sure he likes this other girl but im also pretty sure he likes me. I want to make a move but i don't wanna end our friendship i don't know what to do.
reply about 3 hours
LUCYQWERTY123
LUCYQWERTY123 posted in Friends:
it can be anyone u want but it should be someone who has the true friendship qualities and trust-worhtiness :) :)
reply about 11 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
It's good to have both to talk too about things. But, what's the point of being with someone if you can't trust them enough to even tell them things?
reply about 17 hours
drowning
drowning posted in Friends:
@AmayahG I had a friend for eight years whom I thought was my best friend. But, turned out that she lied to people a lot, including me. She also talked badly of me behind my back and blamed me for everything when all I ever did was be there when she needed me the most. Let her go before she really begins to weigh you down.
reply about 17 hours
Error44
Error44 posted in Friends:
Best friend or boy/girl friend? Which one is better for sharing secrets and talking?
reply about 21 hours