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Erythrophobia: fear of blushing (turning red)

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We are all, to a lesser or greater extent, social animals. And as such, we have a natural tendency to care about what others think or say about us.

It is in this social nature where a good part of our wishes as people takes place, since that, for better or for worse, socialization greatly affects our self-concept and our self-esteem.

What is Erythrophobia?

The Erythrophobia is a specific phobia found within the group of social phobias. Erythrophobia is the fear of blushing. When the person with this phobia turns red in public, she reacts negatively, ashamed of herself. This means that the anxiety that you experience increases, and a greater blush may occur.

Causes of Erythrophobia

Finding yourself in a social environment where you can eventually be the center of attention it can trigger facial flushing, even if the care received is not negative. Before the watchful eyes of other people, the affected person may fear criticism, contempt or humiliation from the group.

Generally, facial flushing begins in childhood or adolescence, where it is not uncommon for the subject to have been teased because of the flushing of it. This generates shame in the affected person and turns the blush into a reaction experienced as negative, as it is ridiculed by others.

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Consequences and psychological effects

The fear of blushing generates anxiety. The vicious circle occurs whereby the fear of blushing itself can trigger it. Faced with this intense fear that a social situation could trigger blushing, there is a tendency to avoid such social encounters.

Since the fear of blushing emphasizes the anxiety to blush, the foreseeable situations can become more and more numerous, and this fear can remain and consolidate during adulthood.

Social phobia: the genesis of blushing?

Social phobia could be defined as pathological shyness to find themselves in situations in which space and interaction are shared with more people. The subject with social phobia feels severe and persistent fear and anxiety in different social situations, such as interacting with other people or simply being observed. This condition significantly hinders the development of the affected person's daily life.

Despite the fact that people who suffer from some type of social phobia are aware that their feelings are not rational, they experience a strong distrust to face the situation that causes them fear. In this way, they resort to certain defense mechanisms, such as trying to avoid said situation, a fact that entails that more and more situations are evaded, and a spiral from isolation that compromises the social dimension of the person and the personal development of it at this level.

It is also very common for the person suffering from social phobia to constantly worry and experience anticipatory anxiety before the possibility that others judge them and think that they are weak, strange, unintelligent or hysterical individuals.

Blushing: is it bad?

Blushing, in itself, is not a pathology nor, in general, is it a symptom of any disorder. Blushing is a completely normal body reaction and it is not necessary to follow any guidelines or treatment to avoid it. The scenario in which turning red can be an element that accentuates a background psychological disorder and this affects the normal daily development of the person, it may be reason enough to take some measures, since we are facing a case of Erythrophobia


About a 70% of people who suffer from social phobia also suffer from Erythrophobia. Research led by the University of Braunschweig in Germany compared the frequency with which intense blush occurs in people from eight countries. From more to less tendency to blush intensely, the study reported: Japanese, Korean, Spanish, Germans, Austrians, Canadians, Dutch and, lastly and as the least prone to turning red, the Americans.


The cause of the fear of blushing should not be avoided but confront. It is possible that if you suffer from Erythrophobia, you can overcome this fear thanks to some specialized books and the help and trust that your friends and relatives give you.

In other cases, intense and persistent fear will require therapeutic support of a clinical psychology professional. Only in very extreme cases will this condition require systematic and multi-level control, where pharmacological treatment may be necessary.

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