Ask an expert

10 Jan 2008

Red faced after exercise
I always get bright red in the face after exercising (which is very embarrasing) while my husband just gets paler. I initially thought the redness was due to the fact that I was not that fit. However, I am now much fitter and still end up with a red face and feel like I am burning up. I work out at a fairly high intensity and do perspire a fair amount. Why does my face glow red and what can I do to try and stop this?
Answer 376 views

01 Jan 0001

hI Mikki

It's related to how your body alters its circulation during exercise and also possibly breathing related. You get a condition in respiratory physiology where people are called "Pink Puffers" - this is the colloquial term for a person who has something called Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), which is chronic bronchitis or emphysema. Now, it doesn't sound that you have this condition, so I don't mean to alarm you, but it might be relevant because the pink complexion these people develop when they exercise is because they hyperventilate to maintain normal oxygen in the blood. This is likely what is happening to you, though I must confess I'm not sure (never have been) why some have this and others not. It is likely related to sensitivity to the control of breathing. So I feel that your problem is likely caused by this. What this means is that as you continue to get fitter, it will eventually lessen, because you'll hyperventilate less, so while that may be scant consolation, it will stop happening in time!

Good luck
The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.