Ask the Cellar Dweller: Why Do I Get a Red Face When I Drink?

CD Explains Why Drinking Can Leave You with a Red Face

Red face

Dear Cellar Dweller,

Sometimes when I drink, I notice I get really red in the cheeks. My ears get red too, and I feel hot. It’s kind of embarrassing. So, why do I get a red face? What gives?

-Sensitive in Schenectady 


Dear Sensitive,

You’re not alone! This annoying problem is quite common. It can happen to anyone, and it does, for a few different reasons…

Usually, it has to do with how your body metabolizes the alcohol. Or, more accurately, how it doesn’t. Inside your body, alcohol breaks down into acetaldehyde. If your body has trouble metabolizing it, the capillaries in your face will dilate, and cause that red color and warm feeling. This is sometimes called the Alcohol Flush Reaction, or AFR [1].

Sometimes AFR can indicate a bigger problem.

While irritating but generally harmless, this flush is sometimes a sign of a bigger problem, such as high blood pressure, alcohol intolerance, or even an alcohol allergy.

Got a question about AFR? Ask your doctor! Being proactive never hurts.

I hope this answers your question, Sensitive!

-CD the Celler Dweller

cellar dweller figure

Visit our Contact Us page to submit your question, or ask in person at Personal Wine Cellar!

Personal Wine Cellar serves Glenville, Scotia, Ballston Lake, Ballston SPA, Burnt Hills, Clifton Park, Charlton, East Glenville, and most areas of Schenectady west of I87.
Personal Wine Cellar…”not the biggest…just the BEST!”





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