What are these red blotches on my chest and neck?
November 23, 2004 10:06 AM   Subscribe

I get red blotches on my chest/neck when I experience any sort of emotion. Does anyone know what this is and what I can do about it? I'm getting married soon and I don't want to look like a freak for the whole day.
posted by gusrondo to Health & Fitness (10 answers total)
A friend of mine would get red splotches, too, when she was nervous. She went to her doctor and h eprescribed her some type of beta blocker to take before she needed it (giving presenations, etc).

Also, here is some discussion on a wedding-type board with this very question.
posted by naturesgreatestmiracle at 10:20 AM on November 23, 2004

I get this, too (or something similar) and a doctor once told me it was adrenaline. That discussion naturesgreatestmiracle liked to is really fascinating, thanks!
posted by arco at 10:21 AM on November 23, 2004

Take a look at a website for ESFB which covers Facial (and chest) Blushing. It isn't run by a medical professional, but has some good information.
posted by ?! at 10:27 AM on November 23, 2004

This same thing happens to me -- any extreme emotion (happiness, anger, embarassment, etc.), and my entire body is one big splotch. This might be entirely unrelated and more of a placebo, but for whatever reason, the more water I drink, the less I tend to get blotchy. When I know I have a potentially high emotional day, I drink a ton of water. (And then I'm also focused on the fact that I have to pee, which makes me less high-strung, and...yeah. YMMV.)

Also, any type of sparkly powder tends to deflect the red and blend the blothces. Along with the water thing, I've also taken to dabbing my chest and face with light sparkly powder so I look like a delicate glowing flower (sort of), instead of bright red.
posted by Zosia Blue at 10:58 AM on November 23, 2004

I take Zyrtec for it because mine got worse with age. It also changed from blotches to full on hives.
posted by bikergirl at 11:22 AM on November 23, 2004

I wish I'd thought to look into that, because my wedding pictures, particularly the vow pictures, look like I'm about to pop. I wish I'd worn my hair down, as it was all over my neck too.

You might also confer with your/a photographer and see if there's any handy makeup tricks they recommend. Be careful of sparkly powders, which can look greasy in photos.
posted by Lyn Never at 1:34 PM on November 23, 2004

ARGH Hives! I got those for a few weeks and it was suck-tastic. This was right in the middle of a weird, lingering summer cold that my doctor could not seem to diagnose, and also included such strange symptoms as chestal pressure and muscle spasms. Then I had a panic attack (my first ever) and I was like, "Hm... Maybe this is all in my head." Soon later, all the symptoms vanished. I still will have symptoms of a panic attack now and then, but now that I know what's going on, I can usually just breathe deeply and it's all good. The whole scenario just left me wishing I had conscious control over how my immune system worked =)
posted by idontlikewords at 3:12 PM on November 23, 2004

Here's a good web page on urticaria (hives) that explains various causes.
posted by mmoncur at 4:00 PM on November 23, 2004

I have a naturally red face and I'm really prone to blushing. I've tried all sorts of pills, creams etc. but the thing that has worked the best is using a green tinted base. Physicians Formula's Pearls of Perfection in the green tint is the best product I've found so far. It's obviously not going to stop the redness, but it changes the way light reflects off your face. It looks natural in real life and really evens out your skin tone in pictures.
posted by a22lamia at 4:01 PM on November 23, 2004

Excessive emotional blushing isn't the same as hives. Some people are so bothered about it that they go for major surgery (stellate ganglionectomy) to have it 'corrected' - I mind me of the case of a woman bucking for the job of TV anchorwoman who had this done and, no longer red-faced, gained the job.

Beta blockers have been used for it, as the above poster notes, with some success.
posted by ikkyu2 at 7:13 PM on November 23, 2004

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