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Why Does My Face Turn Red When I Run?

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Updated August 09, 2012

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

Question: Why Does My Face Turn Red When I Run?
Whenever I run, my face turns bright red. Why is that? Is something wrong?
Answer: When you're running, your body is producing heat. Sweating is one way your body tries to cool you down. To help regulate your temperature, your body also increases blood supply to your skin so that heat can be radiated off. The blood rushes to your face (and sometimes other body parts), giving you that beet-red color.

Many runners get red-faced no matter how much their fitness improves. Everyone handles the heat differently, and just as some runners sweat more than others, some get red faces and others don't. You may find that you get more beet-red if you're doing an intense run or running in hot or humid weather.

During the warm weather, try to run early in the morning or later in the evening (or indoors if it's really bad). Also make sure you're staying hydrated during your runs and drinking when you're thirsty. Try pouring water on your head, neck, and under your arms to cool off.

If you're experiencing other symptoms besides a red face, like dizziness or nausea, you may be suffering from a heat-related illness. Stop running immediately, sip some water and get in the shade. Although a red face while running is usually harmless, you should still mention it to your doctor, especially if you're brand-new to running.

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