Flushing, or redness of the skin, is a common, episodic symptom of Carcinoid Syndrome. Serotonin and other chemicals released by the tumor causes the skin on the face or neck to feel hot and change color. In addition to Carcinoid Syndrome, flushing can be caused by menopause, panic attacks, and alcohol.
There are 2 types of flushing associated with Carcinoid Syndrome. The symptoms vary in severity and appearance depending on the location of your tumor.
The first type is faint pink to red in color and can appear on the face and upper body, extending as far as the nipple. The flushing is first triggered by alcohol and food. Over time, the flushing may happen more spontaneously, without an obvious cause. This type of flushing usually fades within a few minutes, and may occur multiple times per day. Generally, the change in color is not permanent.
The second type of flushing is more intense and often lasts longer. This flushing is purple and may appear on the upper body and limbs. The exact cause of this type of flushing is not always obvious, but it may be triggered by exercise, alcohol, stress, and certain foods.
Coming to terms with unwanted attention from your flushing can be difficult, but you are not alone. Join the About Carcinoid Community to connect and learn from others.