This is the best forum I've found for this problem. For about 15 years (and I'm only 22 now), I have been suffering from a hot, blotchy chest and significantly hot, blushed face any time I am stressed or anxious. At 7, a dermatologist diagnosed it at dermographism, but as I grew, I became more affected by nervous stresses than physical ones.
Although I'm sure I break out at some point most every day, I only notice it when I am in front of people I don't know well, when I have to say something I don't think the other party wants to hear, or when I hear something I wasn't expecting.
During/after exercise, I don't get excessively sweaty but my face can stay blush for a couple hours even after I've cooled down. This one is embarrassing when people ask why I'm blushed and I have to say its because I worked out 2 hours ago.
I've jokingly discussed it with friends and boyfriends throughout college, but now as a graduate student I can't have my body showing its nerves any time I'm supposed to speak with authority or professionalism. Mentally, I'm usually fine and not nervous (that is, until my body reacts and then I get nervous that people notice it-and it just gets worse! a conundrum, huh?)
Anyway, I have OTC antihistamines that I only want to take on days when I expect a breakout. I don't know if they work because I always forget the morning of. I don't know what the best solution is to my forgetfulness, desire not to take the med daily (maybe keeping it at my office desk?), unknowing of whether non-drowsy antihistamines will help, and desire not to spend a fortune on a silly cosmetic problem.
Also, I wonder if it is equally probable in men and women, as mostly women seem to have posted here but women tend to dominate seeking medical advice such as this online.
I'm upset - I got the rash really bad twice tonight - was out with family and a friend of my sisters - WHY does this happen?? And WHAT can we do to help it?? I'm so frustrated! Has anyone tried True Calm?
I know exactly how you feel! (Get ready to read my book!)
I just read everything that you have posted over the last few months, saying to myself – Yup, that’s me! I am 23 and have been experiencing the red/blotchy rash since I was in high school. Over the past year or so I have noticed that it has got much worse and like you, can not figure out why?!? I could be hanging out with friends or with my family and for no reason what so ever I am spotted! These last few months have been the worst and I am absolutely tired of it, I can’t take it anymore.
When I am happy/sad/upset/excited/nervous/embarrassed – you name an emotion, I turn colors. I try to laugh it off but inside I really do get so upset! When it happens around the people I know, someone will point it out and I’ll just say, “yeah, you know me- I turn funny colors” – what else am I suppose to do? But when I’m around people who haven’t experienced my blotches - I want to cry! At work I have to deal with patients one on one every day, the feeling I get when I notice them looking at me like I am going to pass out, I just want to run away (and you don't even wanna see me if I have to give a speech, I no longer get red, it's more of a purple!). There has been more than one occasions that I have had to leave what I was doing and hand my patient to another coworker because I was too embarrassed to go back into the room and face them.
I asked my mom when the first time she noticed it and she said my junior prom. Back then it would only happen every once in a while, but at this point in my life there isn’t a day that goes by where it doesn’t happen. Some days are definitely worse than others with multiple breakouts. In fact, I am getting spotted just concentrating on writing this!
Some background information that might help explain why this happens to me: a few years ago I found out that I have a metabolic restriction problem (almost like diabetes, but not to that extent). Basically, my body has problems breaking down sugar – that might be one reason I have this problem. Due to this, I have a really hard time maintaining my weight, I have to follow a low carb diet *which I haven’t been doing very well lately*.
That brings me to what you said about this possibly being related to weight gain. Over the last year I have gained 10-20 pounds, so if you were to ask me, yes-there is a great possibility it has something to do with our weight, or maybe just sugar intake… but – I’m not a doctor. I'm thinking that caffeine is also a big factor, I started cutting back the other day, I’ll let you know if it helps at all, nothing yet though.
I went to the doctor a few weeks ago but she hasn’t gotten back to me yet, we did discuses beta blockers but she seems hesitate and to be honest, if I can get around meds that would be wonderful. I also want to start an exercise routine, which seems to be helpings some people, besides- what can it hurt!
I know this wasn't exactly helpful to you, but reading all of your postings has made me feel a little better :-)
It's torturous dealing with this problem on a daily basis. I am a 42 year old mother of two and have suffered this embarressing problem all of my adult life. I have read most of your postings and sympathise with all of you. I have undergone surgery to try and rid this demon....I have to confess; although it has helped blushing to the face, it has done very little to eliminate a blotchy neck! Six months ago, after discovering this forum, I sought advice and help from my GP.As a result, I am currently taking propranolol daily. There is no doubt, my blotchyness is as bad a problem, as anyone of you has communicated; however, beta blockers have certainly helped...still, regretably, I must be honest and say this past week, I've been under alot of stress and my rash and feelings of anxiety have surfaced again! I am absolutely gutted. I thought I'd found a cure. I have been rash free for several months now and to have a flare up like this is just devastating. I also must confess; although rash free for all that time, I did suffer side effects; which took some time in surfacing.ie difficulty in sleeping (got quite severe; so much so that I swapped the propranolol for another beta blocker, but the blotchyness reappeared immediately, so I swapped it back again!) weight gain and the feeling of bloatedness. I am always on the look out for new ideas and pray for the day when a cure can be found. I too, like some of you, do not discuss this with anybody really and even find it difficult explaining to my GP! My mum is going bananas with me at the moment, because I'm finding getting to sleep at nights a huge problem, so I am on sleeping tablets aswell as betablockers! The thing is my blood pressure has always been excellent and I am fit and healthy...so why take medication? I'd rather not, but my problem is so bad, I really do feel, I have no option.
I'm guessing we still have no solution.
This is driving me insane,especially having to deal with it at school!
The other day i was just talking to my ex and i went blotchy.
Sometimes i want to scream, other times break down and cry.
I don't even feel nervous and i get it and it just makes me feel worse having to explain it to every new person i meet.
I too suffer from these red, blotchy outbreaks. When I was young and would get embarrassed my face would turn red, which is not that uncommon of a reaction, but it was not until I was 21 or 22 that the red blotches started to show up on my neck (or at least that was when people started to point it out). I am now 29 and despise this issue. I am shy and probably have a mild form of social anxiety but around friends, coworkers, and family I feel comfortable and am quite talkative. Even in situations where I feel completely comfortable the redness can occur. I have noticed that if I have to talk about or explain myself to certain people that this happens or if I feel attacked, emotional, or angry the blotches show up. I get tired of worrying about this and trying to hide it. Most of the time I wear whatever I want but on days that I know that I have a meeting, I make it a point to wear a turtleneck or at least a crewneck.
I've been reading the posts on this forum off and on over the past couple of months. While I would like to try a beta blocker, I really would rather not be on medication if I can help it. People have mentioned that caffeine could be an issue. I have tried to cut back on that and went without any for a couple of weeks but since it has gotten colder, I can hardly turn down my coffee fix. I am not sure that I have cut out enough or been without caffeine altogether long enough to notice a difference. I love coffee but if the redness would go away it would be well worth the switch to decaffeinated. I exercise on a regular basis, am at a healthy weight, and for the most part eat pretty healthy although I must say that desserts are my weakness. I'm just wondering if we can all find a common link to explain this...