Kw-logo-smaller

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

 

5 Comments

latest videos

F1139446399531

Do You Have a Valentine?

  • Yeah, I *heart* my Valentine.
  • No. I'm flying solo this year.
  • I'm working on it!
  • Valentine's Day is way too commercialized for me.

related stories

Micro_racism_micro
KK63 asks: “Everyone in my school is white; I’m like the only one that is dark-skinned and I get ...
Micro_burn_micro
One minute you're lying on the beach, the next you're red as a lobster! Sunburns are uncomfortabl...
Some people may be born with flawless complexions, but most of us have to work at it. Kidzworld f...

Dear Dish-It in the forums

hugebear
hugebear posted in Friends:
Congratulations on being gifted and getting all the opportunties what your getting :) You knows your friends better than any of us and how does you think they will react if you tell them?  Thinks about if one of your friends told you and how you would feel.  Be proud and enjoy your learning and you will meet other gifted people too in your classes and ask them their experiences too of how/if they told friends. If it was me then I probably wouldnt but thats just me personality. I wouldnt ever get in the gifted group anyway so I doesnt really have to think about this :)
reply about 5 hours
__dischic3__
__dischic3__ posted in Style:
today I got my hair down...chillin'
reply about 13 hours
Teh_Skittlez
Teh_Skittlez posted in Friends:
Don't go out of your way to talk about it. A lot of people are off put by people who talk about their intelligence a lot. If it comes up in a conversation, you can talk about it, but you probably won't need to tell them. Usually with people who are genuinely intelligent, they don't need to talk about their intelligence, it's obvious to everyone around you, and therefore people who are not as intelligent might feel like you're rubbing it in. 
reply about 20 hours
jordand08
jordand08 posted in Friends:
Maybe you should wait until you feel a little bit more comfy talking to them, and then tell them!  :D
reply about 20 hours
totalgeek
totalgeek posted in Friends:
There is a slight issue with that. I am rarely comfortable talking with children my own age.
reply about 20 hours

play online games