If you suffer from erythrophobia, or chronic blushing, then you may be considering a surgical procedure that could hamper your reactions to certain stimuli. There are several different reasons that you might experience a permanent or semi-permanent redness to the your face, such as difficulties in regulating body temperature, hormonal changes, and social anxiety. The most common of these tends to be the psychological, where those prone to public embarrassment react with a reddening of the cheeks.
There are many possible treatments that can help you to reduce the occurrences of facial blushing, including psychological conditioning, pills, and even topical ointments. The only time that you should consider a surgical cure is when the other possible treatments do not offer you results. Keep in mind that even the surgical procedure could fail, so you must be very sure that you want to proceed before you sign any papers. Surgery, even an elective one such as this, should always be considered as a last resort. Remember, too, that the elective nature of this type of surgery usually means that you will not have your procedure covered under health insurance. It really is a large decision, so be careful to weigh all benefits and negatives before taking the next step.
Start from the beginning with your treatment. First, determine the cause of your facial reddening. If you are suffering from physiological symptoms rather than psychological, then your treatment options will be vastly different. Most often, there is a bit of a combination between the two. There are medicines that can inhibit receptors in your body, which will not allow the hormones that can lead to blushing to reach their intended mark. These inhibitors can be very productive in helping to alleviate redness in the face.
You can also consider psychological treatments, coupled with hypnosis, which will train your brain to react differently to particular stimuli. This is probably the safest course of treatment, though you must remember that all treatments can present some form of side effect. By retraining your brain, though, you can enter into nearly any social situation without the fear of showing your weakness through color in your cheeks. This is certainly an avenue you might consider pursuing.
When all else fails, then comes the surgery. The reason that you should really consider the surgery as a last resort is because the surgeon will actually damage specific nerves in your body. This procedure is called Endoscopic Transthoracic Sympathectomy. The sympathetic nerve will be burned, clamped, or even removed in an effort to stem your facial redness. This particular surgery is also often used to cure excessive sweating, especially in the palms.
Remember that this surgery deal with the blood vessels, which are small and delicate. There is not much that can go wrong during the surgery, but there are problems that might manifest themselves afterward. Many patients complain that they suffer excessive sweating on their back, chest, or underarms. Many physicians will choose to sever the nerve completely, though it may just be clamped and left intact. If it is left intact, then there is the possibility of reversing the surgery at a later date.
This surgery to stop blushing can cost you up to $20,000. Keep in mind that you will also need medications after the surgery, and you can also run into side effects due to severing a nerve. For the expense alone, you should definitely consider ETS as a last resort, after you have attempted all other possible treatments. It is an invasive procedure, and chances are very good that you can live without it.