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Why do we blush

Why do we blush

Blushing is a phenomenon which often puts us in a troublesome situation. Things we want to keep to ourselves gets revealed and everyone gets to know how we are feeling inside. Let’s face it, we all have faced the awkward moment when our crush looked at us or gave a casual smile and we turned scarlet. Blushing is triggered by emotions which are attached with self-consciousness. We blush when we are feeling embarrassed, angry or when we are the center of attention. Fear and shyness can also cause blushing. Women and adolescent children blush more often because they are more self conscious.

The phenomenon of blushing is not controlled by us. The autonomous nervous system or sympathetic nervous system regulates our blushing. It is an involuntary response which cannot be checked in any way. Under certain circumstances the sympathetic nervous system sends signals to our facial veins and dilutes them. When the space inside veins increase more blood rushes to our face and makes us blush. When we feel acutely self conscious or embarrassed the level of adrenaline gets increased. The adrenaline molecules get bonded to the responsive skin cells. This action produces an enzyme called adenylyl cyclase.

The production of adenylyl cyclase in turn increases the production of cyclic AMP. This chemical is the reason why the blood vessels on our face get diluted. The facial blood vessels are nearer to the surface of the skin. The number of blood vessels present on our face is also more than the number of blood vessels present anywhere else. These reasons make blushing so prominent. The facial skin is softer and thinner than the rest of our body. The root cause of blushing is yet unknown but its chemical aspect has been deciphered. Emotions are complicated and phenomenons like blushing help us stand apart from the other species.


Written by:
Editor-in-Chief and lead author at WhyDo