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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

Amalegend20 posted in Friends:
You should be nice to her. If you have to break the news gently don't make her feel bad just talk to her about and see what she says  
reply about 12 hours
hugebear posted in Friends:
My bff and I were best friends but weve grown apart im getting older and she still wants to do kid stuff I have new friends now I feel like im being mean to her but like doesn't she get the memo I feel both guilty and mad:} Gosh.... put the shoe on  the other foot and see how would you feel if your bff done this on you. You has been bffs for the long time [Im guessing] and your maturing faster than her.  I agrees you are being mean to her if you doesnt discuss how your feeling with her and ignoring / avoiding her or whatever your doing.    She has been the good friend to you and she deserves to understand if you is growing up faster than her.  I really feels sad for how she could be feeling right now. She didnt do anything wrong.  You changed. Not her. Please be nice to your friend/ex friend and let her down gently [if you really has to] ^^ Me opinion  
reply about 20 hours
Desiixx posted in Friends:
Don't worry about it. Friends grow apart. That's how things go. Just talk to her about it, she'll understand. 
reply about 20 hours
trendycute posted in Friends:
My bff and I were best friends but weve grown apart im getting older and she still wants to do kid stuff I have new friends now I feel like im being mean to her but like doesn't she get the memo I feel both guilty and mad:}
reply about 21 hours
epic587 posted in Family Issues:
Yes and no. Parents should be a bit strict on you if they care about you.  If they care about you they would be strict. 
reply about 23 hours

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