You are not the only one if you are flushed after racing. This is a common problem, especially among women and those with light skin. When you run, you generate heat in your body—sweating aids in the cooling process. To further control your temperature, your body increases blood flow to your skin. Your capillaries dilate to allow more blood to circulate into them, which will enable you to radiate more heat into your skin.
The Big Picture
The capillaries in the cheeks have a larger diameter and are closer to the surface than those elsewhere. As a result, more red blood rushes to the surface when they dilate, giving you that rosy hue.
Regardless of how much their health increases, many runners get flushed (in fact, some research shows that endurance athletes get more flushed earlier in their workouts than less fit people).
Everyone reacts differently to the sun, and just as some runners sweat more than others, some get red faces while others don’t. Few people are born with more capillaries than others.
Others may have capillaries that automatically transport more blood to the face as they exert themselves. In this case, they are more likely to develop a red face as a result of exercise.
Running in Hot Weather
If you’re doing an intense workout or running in hot or humid conditions, you might notice that your face turns red. When the weather is wet, attempt to run early in the morning or later in the evening (or indoors if the weather is terrible). Always make sure you’re remaining hydrated and drinking while you’re tired during your runs. To cool off, splash water on your head, shoulders, and under your arms.
You may be recovering from a heart-related disease, such as dehydration or heat exhaustion, if you’re feeling other symptoms than a red face, such as dizziness or nausea. Stop running right now, drink some water, and find some shade.
Duration of Flushing
Exercising-induced flushing typically lasts for longer than 15 to 20 minutes. You won’t be able to speed up the process much, but you should try:
- During your exercise, spritz or dab cold water on your skin.
- Allowing enough time to cool off to lower the heart rate
- Using a face wipe, taking a cool shower, or cleaning your face in cold water (some contain aloe to soothe your skin and caffeine to constrict blood vessels) after-workout
- After washing your face, moisturize it with an anti-redness or sensitive skin formula.
- Applying a tinted moisturizer after a green color-correcting primer
When to Talk to Your Doctor
Although a red face is usually harmless, particularly if you’re new to running, you can also consult your doctor. If you’re experiencing other signs like diarrhea, wheezing, hives, or trouble breathing, that may result from something more severe. Keep track of when you’re flushing in different situations. Is it harder when you eat those ingredients or consume alcohol? Talk to the doctor about any associations you’ve noticed.
It may be a symptom of rosacea if the flushing lasts longer than half an hour after your run or if it goes missing and reappears later in the day. If this is the case, help is required.
Some drugs, such as benzoyl peroxide acne creams, antibiotics, and high blood pressure medications, may induce or worsen flushing.
PDE 5 metabolites, such as sildenafil (Viagra, Revatio), vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn), and tadalafil (Adcirca), can also induce flushing. PDE 5 inhibitors are used to treat erectile dysfunction and pulmonary hypertension.
This is something you can discuss with your dermatologist. It can also be beneficial to prevent irritant-causing topical remedies (such as retinol or chemical peels) the night before a long-distance run or hard exercise.
Long Distance Running has few words for you
Dress the red glow of pride if you’ve been told you’re safe and you still have it. Yes, it can be irritating when people ask if you’re okay when feeling like a superhero. But at the very least, you know you’ll be able to get assistance if you ever need it. For the time being, you have evidence that you put in the effort. It’ll be well worth it!