Facial Blushing: Psychiatric Management
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Frequent or severe facial blushing may cause distress and impede a person’s social interactions. It often leads to fear of blushing (erythrophobia) and avoidance of social situations. Current psychiatric classifications state that blushing is a hallmark physical response of social anxiety disorder (SAD).
US Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved drugs for SAD, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) sertraline and fluvoxamine, have been shown to be superior to placebo for treating facial blushing. A newer SSRI, escitalopram, has been successfully used for erythrophobia. β-Blockers taken prior to a situation that typically triggers blushing may also be effective for incapacitating blushing and performance anxiety.
Likewise, task concentration training, the most widely known psychological therapy for fear of blushing, and cognitive–behavioral treatments for SAD are good treatment options. Since they involve learning processes, they have the advantage of providing longer-lasting results.
KeywordsBlushing Erythrophobia Social Anxiety Disorder Treatment Therapy
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