Having that sweet pink flush on your face is a telltale sign that you have been working out but if your face turns red when exercising, you tend to get worried or may find it embarrassing. However, one need not worry as this is a normal part of the body's response to the heat during exercise.
When you exercise, your body produces a lot of heat and only about 25 percent of that heat is used for movement. The rest simply remains as heat in the body. The dermis which is the deep layer of skin underneath the epidermis, is made up of capillaries and vessels that carry blood and fresh oxygen to cells during exercise.
During exercise, the heart pumps more frequently and the body increases the pressure and the volume of blood that it sends to cells. It does this to meet the body's increasing demands for oxygen and nutrients necessary for increased activity. Sweating and increased blood flow are the two ways in which the body works to regulate temperature during exercise.
As the body works harder, internal temperature increases. To cool itself down, the body sends blood via the dermis to the surface of the skin so the heat can move away from the body. The excess of blood flow to the skin gives some people the appearance of a blotchy red face.
So, in short it can be said that the answer to the question, why the face becomes red when exercising, is that the redness is a sign that your body is trying to cool itself.
Since, the heart is pumping faster, during a workout it pushes the blood up to your head where it is needed and that is when your body begins to turn on its cooling mechanism to get rid of the excess heat that is being generated.
Another possible cause of a red face could be rosacea. Rosacea is an inflammatory disorder of the skin which can flare up by exercise induced by overheating. It is estimated that about 16 million Americans have rosacea, and many of them do not even know it.
Anyone can get rosacea, but individuals with fair skin who tend to flush or blush easily are believed to be at the greatest risk. Rosacea is very common in adults between the ages of 30 and 60. It is also proved that women are affected almost twice as often as men according to some studies.
The symptoms of rosacea include flushing, persistent redness, bumps and pimples, visible blood cells, etc. It is better to get a dermatologist to diagnose this condition. There are various home remedies for rosacea that are very effective.
Tips to Avoid Red Face While Exercising
Despite the appearance of a red face, there is no reason to worry about heat exhaustion or stroke. In fact, the New England Journal of Medicine advises to simply maintain fluid intake before, during and after exercise, and pay attention to how you feel.
The key here is to exercise within your limits, which means if you haven't exercised for a while, start slowly and work at your own pace. It may not be the best idea for a beginner to start with a fast-paced fitness class.
It is also important to be patient. Your body will cool down when it's ready. Using a spray bottle on your face to keep cool is more of a psychological lift than being of any physiological help. Heat is removed from the body when sweat evaporates. This is why wiping off sweat is discouraged during exercise.
Also, be sure to hydrate even if you don't get a bright red face when exercising. It is a good idea to drink plenty of water before a workout. Staying well hydrated might help to alleviate the redness.
Following these simple tips might prove beneficial. Most importantly make sure to cool down properly.
Disclaimer: This write-up is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.