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Flushing (/ˈflʌʃɪŋ/) is a term used in medicine to describe a sensation of warmth and rapid reddening of your skin. It can occur unpredictably or in response to certain triggers such as sun exposure, cold weather, spicy foods, wind, hot drinks and skin-care products.


The term "flushing" originates from the Old French word flus, which means "to flow". It was first used in the English language in the 16th century to describe the reddening of the skin.


Flushing can be caused by a wide range of conditions and factors, including:

  • Rosacea: A chronic skin condition that causes flushing, redness, and sometimes pimples and pustules, usually on the face.
  • Menopause: Flushing and hot flashes are common symptoms of menopause.
  • Carcinoid syndrome: A group of symptoms associated with carcinoid tumors, which can cause flushing.
  • Mastocytosis: A disorder that can result in flushing due to the release of histamine and other chemicals from mast cells.
  • Certain medications: Some drugs, including niacin, tamoxifen, and certain types of antibiotics and opioids, can cause flushing.


Treatment for flushing depends on the underlying cause. It may include avoiding triggers, medications to control symptoms, or in some cases, surgery.

Related Terms

  • Blushing: A type of flushing that occurs in response to embarrassment, stress, or emotional stress.
  • Erythema: A term for redness of the skin or mucous membranes, caused by increased blood flow in superficial capillaries.
  • Hot flash: A sudden feeling of heat and sometimes a red, flushed face and sweating.

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