New treatment to beat blushing September 26, 2013 Murdoch University researchers have discovered a cheap and effective way to reduce one of the human body's most curious expressions – blushing. "There are people in our community who are particularly frightened of blushing because they think that people who notice the blush will think less of them," said the study's lead author Professor Peter Drummond. "This can make them even more anxious and make them blush even more. For some, this fear is so extreme that they avoid social encounters and sometimes even seek surgery to reduce the rush of blood to the cheeks." During the study, 30 adults were connected to special equipment to measure blood flow in the cheeks. 16 of these people had a 'high fear of blushing'. A small amount of ibuprofen gel was rubbed into one cheek, with ultrasound gel rubbed into the other cheek as a control. The subjects were then asked to participate in a cringe-worthy task – karaoke. "We instructed them, one at a time, to sing along to Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive for a full five minutes," Professor Drummond said. "To heighten their embarrassment, we interjected every now and then asking them to sing louder, be more expressive, or sing in tune." Previous studies led the researchers to believe that blushing is partly caused by an inflammatory reaction in the blood vessels of the face, brought on by compounds called prostaglandins. Professor Drummond said the ibuprofen gel helped stop these compounds from forming, and significantly reduced blushing (caused by embarrassment) and flushing (brought on by exercise). "The results were even more noticeable among those with a high fear of blushing," he said. Ibuprofen gel is commonly available in chemists and supermarkets, and is often used as an anti-inflammatory to treat sprains, swelling and back pain. "More research is needed to determine whether topical ibuprofen gel is suitable for intermittent or long-term use to treat blushing," Professor Drummond said. "We're also looking to test whether ibuprofen tablets, aspirin, paracetamol or even a placebo, can deliver similar results." Print This Post Media contact: Candice Barnes Tel: (08) 9360 2474 | Mobile: 0408 201 309 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Categories: General, Future Students, Domestic students, Research, Schools, School of Psychology and Exercise Science, School of Psychology and Exercise Science Research Tags: blushing, gloria gaynor, ibuprofen, karaoke, peter drummond Leave a comment Name (required) Mail (will not be published) (required) Website You can use these tags : <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong> We read every comment and will make every effort to approve each new comment within one working day. To ensure speedy posting, please keep your comments relevant to the topic of discussion, free of inappropriate language and in-line with the editorial integrity of this newsroom. If not, your comments may not be published. Thanks for commenting!