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Idiopathic Craniofacial Erythema is a medical condition characterised by severe, uncontrollable, and frequently unprovoked, facial blushing.Blushing can occur at any time and is frequently triggered by even mundane events, such as, talking to friends, paying for goods in a shop or asking for directions. The redness can take several minutes to dissipate leaving the sufferer feeling exposed and embarrassed. Sufferers will often seek careers which do not ordinarily bring them into contact with others, especially the general public, and may have problems with relationships. Consuming excessive quantities of alcohol in order to, "speak your mind", or alleviate the anxiety caused by the condition is common.A link is frequently described between Idiopathic Craniofacial Erythema and Social Anxiety Disorder.Other symptoms include excessive sweating on the palms, feet and under-arm areas.
Treatment A number of treatments are available. The most successful non-invasive procedure is cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), which attempts to alleviate the anxiety felt by sufferers.In extreme cases a surgical procedure known as Endoscopic Transthoracic Sympathicotomy (ETS) is available. Pioneered by surgeons in Sweden, this procedure has recently become increasingly controversial due to its many potential adverse effects. Patients who have undergone the procedure frequently complain of compensatory sweating and fatigue. ETS is now normally only considered in extreme cases where other treatments have been ineffective.
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