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Thread: Help! Extremely red face after exercise

  1. #1
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    Help! Extremely red face after exercise

    I've had this problem for a while, but I'm sick of it and it's cramping my style.

    When I exercise and get hot, my face turns BEET red and it does not sweat. My neck is sweating, my back, chest, etc. but not my face. It happens mostly in warm weather (60 degress or above). I couldn't finish my usual run today because I was just too uncomfortably hot.

    I read somewhere that it's the blood or blood vessels coming to the surface of the skin, trying to cool me off, but it isn't working! I will not be able to run outdoors again until it cools off if I can't figure this out.

    Does anyone know why my face won't sweat??

  2. #2
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    Hi Martha,

    I'm not sure about the not-sweating part, but I certainly relate to the beet red thing! My face stays red for at least an hour after a warm weather run, which means that I have to time my morning runs early enough to let an hour pass before getting ready for work... I have seen other people who recover very quickly, and envy them. My strategy isn't going to be very useful: I just accept this as part of the deal. Since I feel so much better when I've run than when I haven't, the red face is worth it. However, if someone has more wisdom to share, I'll be all (red) ears!

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Seathyme. I went over to the Runners' World boards and searched for "red face" and found while many people get this, most don't seem too bothered by it.

    I feel like I just can't cool myself off in the head/face region. I am usually warmer than most people anyway, and when this happens, I get to feeling just too hot... kind of sick feeling and overheated. Ick.

    ETA; I'm fine now; I do seem to bounce back, esp. if I call it quits soon enough.

  4. #4
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    Do you have Rosacea??
    Exercise can make things worse (as can a lot of other things).

    Also,make sure you are not experiencing an exercise allergy (yes, your body can produce histamines while exercising that can cause this).

    You may want to see a doctor to rule out anything serious.
    Just my 2cents.
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  5. #5
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    Memartha, as Wallycat said, I think you may have rosacea. I have it and it started with redness from drinking any alchohol (even a sip!) and escalated to making my face turn bright red from cold air, bright sun, hot liquids, alcohol and exercise. I would work out and have a beet-red face, even though I was in good shape.

    I finally went to a dermatologist when the full redness started to form blotches on my face (especially after a drink). I looked in the mirror one day and saw how red my nose was and just knew it was rosacea. My general practitioner said it couldn't be because I didn't have any "acne" looking bumps on my face. But, broken blood vessels and that "acne" look are the hallmark of advanced, untreated rosacea. My dermatologist knew right away and prescribed a cream called fineacea (sp?) it was a life saver. Cleared it up right away. I steered clear of my triggers (if possible--I never drink anymore) and used the cream and I was fine...even after a workout.

    I did have to have permanent rosacea blooms removed from my cheek last year (there were two the size of a freckle from too much time in the sun) by laser, but that's been it so far.

    I actually haven't been on the cream for a year and I've been just fine. But, I think it can flare up, so I'm probably just in a good state right now.

    I just know that when I would get red, I would get so hot and uncomfortable I wanted to put ice on my face, especially after a workout. Finally getting a diagnosis and treatment was a lifesaver.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
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    crt - does the Finacea cream reduce/minimize the broken blood vessel issue? I just got a sample from my derm but have only used the cream sporadically (I dont' get red all that often, just occasionally). But, I absolutely hate all the broken blood vessels on my nose.

    Memartha - My face also gets beet red after working out & it takes a while to get back to normal. However, I still continue to sweat. Not sweating sounds unhealthy, not just a comfort issue. That's quite odd if your skin isn't sweating. Good luck!

  7. #7
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    Hmmm, thank you again for your thoughtful responses.

    Rosacea... a possibility. I don't have any broken blood vessels or that rosy look that I associate with rosacea, though. I've seen a dermatologist for other issues in the past and she never mentioned rosacea. I am fair with a red-head type complexion (freckles).

    An exercise allergy? Yikes. What kind of doctor would know about that? I was fully allergy tested about a year ago and the only allergies that showed up were dust and dust mites.

    I guess a call to the dermatologist wouldn't hurt. Thanks again.

    Martha

  8. #8
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    SusanMac, the only broken blood vessels that I have ever had were the two small (freckle-size) "blooms" on my cheek, and they were removed with one laser treatment. Shockingly enough, my insurance covered it too. Perhaps the finacea stopped the growth of anymore blooms...but it didn't fix the problem.

    Memartha, I never had broken blood vessels either, other than the two small ones that I developed about a year after my diagnosis. Broken blood vessels and that "acne" look are truly a hallmark of more advanced rosacea. Mine was just a red face, and occassionally blotchy red marks, often looking like I had a serious blushing problem...the thing was, the redness would last for an hour, rather than a few minutes. Rosacea is apparently very common in people of "Celtic" descent...although I'm German and Italian, so who knows where mine came from.

  9. #9
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    I thought about rosacea too as it starts with reddening from whatever your personal "triggers" are. the flushing becomes more and more reluctant to go away over time. If it's only exercise that causes it, I'd be less suspicious of rosacea but wouldn't rule it out.

    You can buy neck wraps called "cool ties" (something like that) that contain water absorbing crystals. you soak the tie in water and then wrap it around your neck. I use them for hiking in hot weather and they really help. I'm not sure if these would work for running since you're generating a lot of heat but I thought I'd toss the idea out there anyway. You re-dunk them when they start not feeling cool enough. I also have rosacea although exercise generally is not a problem for me. I don't do very vigorous exercise when it's hot because I get overheated & find it incredibly unpleasant. My face also does not sweat, at all. A lot of rosacea people have trouble with sun making them red too. Are you wearing a hat or visor while running?
    "If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle." Rita Mae Brown

  10. #10
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    Valerie,

    Today I wore a hat to see if that would do anything to help. I think it made me a little more comfortable not having the sun beating on my face, however I quit after about 2.5 miles and walked the rest, with my face feeling so uncomfortably hot, and returned home beet red (it's 69-70 degrees out).

    I also did an experiment and took my temperature before and after running. Interestingly, there was NO difference whatsoever. I thought for sure I would be several degrees warmer, based on how I feel.

  11. #11
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    My whole body turns bright read when I exercise or if I'm out in the heat for too long. I am also fair-haired and freckled and have suffered this my entire life and I don't have rosacea. DS#3 came in just before lunch and had been working on the fence line for 3 hours and he was red from head to toe. I always just thought it was a normal thing for fair-haired and freckled!
    Well-behaved women seldom make history!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by memartha View Post

    Does anyone know why my face won't sweat??
    I have rosacea which is triggered by exercise (also hot foods/drinks, the sun, alcohol - for me personally). When I exercise my face will not sweat, while the rest of my body will. It doesn't matter how hot it is outside (and I live in the South), my face won't sweat - it just turns bright red. I always assumed it was related to rosacea, but you may want to ask your doctor. For this reason, I try to exercise after work when I'm not going out later. It can be annoying, especially if you constantly get remarks about how red your face is.
    I also use a cream in the mornings (I can't remember the name), and it seems to help.

  13. #13
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    I have acne rosacea.

    My face sweats like a construction worker
    Thoreau said, 'A man is rich in proportion to the things he can leave alone.'

  14. #14
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    I personally could not run if it was 70 degrees out unless it was very dry heat and with a good breeze blowing. I get too hot. I feel like I'm getting heat stroke...... hot, hot, hotter and weak and dizzy feeling. however, I have the metabolism of a polar bear. I am usually too warm and seldom get cold. I live (purposely) in a cool part of the country & exercise early or inside if it's that warm. It's incomprehensible to me that people run outside when it's 80+ degrees! I prefer temps in the 50's but I know that won't work everywhere. I always wear foundation with sunscreen and have no problem with it staying in place because I don't sweat, but that camoflages any redness that might develop. Wearing a visor or baseball hat can't hurt though.
    So I don't know if what you're describing is rosacea. I think a doc will need to look at your skin to tell you for sure.
    "If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle." Rita Mae Brown

  15. #15

    high blood pressure

    You should definitely monitor your blood pressure. Red face can be a red flag for high blood pressure.

  16. #16
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    Reported.
    --Mary Kate--

    "In all our woods there is not a tree so hard to kill as the buckeye. The deepest girdling does not deaden it, and even after it is cut down and worked up into the side of a cabin it will send out young branches, denoting to all the world that Buckeyes are not easily conquered, and could with difficulty be destroyed." - Daniel Drake, 1833

  17. #17

    Red Faced

    I have the same exact problem. It just means you worked out really hard. I am 47 and have beautiful skin. It actually looks nicer when this happens and my face goes back to normal. I do not have rosacea and never had it. My face always turned red from working out. I have low blood pressure normally. Ask your doctor. And I would keep running if I were you.

  18. #18
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    spam reported
    "If the world were a logical place, men would ride side saddle." Rita Mae Brown

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