Includes Expert Content
Red/Puffy Face from Exercise
77JenniferB posted:
Any time I exercise, whether it be working in the yard or working out at the gym, my face gets beet red and puffy. It normally takes about an hour for the redness to go away, but the puffiness will sometimes stay longer. Does anyone know why this happens? Is it a symptom of a problem I should be concerned about?
Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
Hi Jennifer,

A red face is common during a workout, particularly in people who have fair complexions, and is caused by dilation of the blood vessels in your face to help cool off your body. Muscles produce heat during exercise and the heat has to be removed from the body to prevent overheating (like a car that overheats). The body does this with sweat and dilation of blood vessels (vasoldilation). Some people sweat more to cool off while others cool off more by vasodilation and get a red face. There's nothing dangerous about it. You can try a cold wet towel on your face during exercise, and a fan, but you won't be able to entirely prevent it.

Take care,
bhamil999 responded:
have the same problem and find it to be very embarassing. It was especially wrenching when I weighed over 300 lbs. and others would express concern for my well being..."are you ok?" yes I'm fine. I'm really obese and I'm working really hard...of course I'm turning concerned when I start turning blue...that is when there is a MAJOR problem!!!! Now that I have dropped over 100 lbs. it is easier to accept. Mostly because the way I look at it is at least I am out there doing something about my health!!! I wish I could have felt this confidence when I was heavier...maybe I wouldn't have stayed heavy for so long!! it has improved somewhat as my endurance has increased but my husband can still tell when I have had a good workout cause I am BEET RED!!!!
niamhis responded:
get this too , i dont have to do much before it starts . udner my eyes get so puffy it looks like ive been crying all night and the redness just seems to take at least an hour to go away which is horrible when you have places to be !really wish there was something that could prevent it from happening .. even slightly!
Fran1962 responded:
I have the same problem and if you don't stop when your face starts to get red, it will be really easy to go into heat exhaustion. That's what my Dr told me.

Take a cotton rag or hand kerchief and wrap it around pieces of ice. Tie it around your neck making sure the ice is over your caroted arteries. It will keep your brain cool and you will not over heat.

When we go sailing, I take two terry hats and put ice in one, put the other one in the one with the ice and put it on my head.

Either one my face does not turn red and I don't have to worry about heat exhaustion (too hot & sweating) or heat stroke (too hot & not sweating).

When gardening, if I start to feel to hot, I hold the hose over my head and drench myself with cold water.

No mater what I do I keep a lot of cool or cold water handy to drink. Don't sip it - guzzle it. Believe it or not drinking lots of water gets rid of the swelling. Watermellon will do it faster.