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Home / News / Asian Flush (Alcohol Flush Reaction): Symptoms, Causes & Treatments
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Asian Flush (Alcohol Flush Reaction): Symptoms, Causes & Treatments

March 15, 2021

What is Asian Flush? Alcohol Flush Reaction Explained.

For most people, consuming alcohol can make them feel more confident and comfortable. But for some, drinking makes them feel physically uncomfortable and turns their skin red.

Alcohol Flush Reaction, also known as Alcohol Flushing Syndrome, is a condition in which a person’s skin may flush or develop redness and blotches as a result of alcohol consumption. You may have also heard this called Asian Flush or Asian Glow, the namesake for these alternative terms being that 36% of Northeast Asians experience this reaction to alcohol. Now, while a disproportionate percentage of Asians may have an Alcohol Flush Reaction, they certainly aren’t the only people who can have it, and a red face is not the only symptom.

Let’s take a deeper look at why alcohol flushing occurs for some people, its other symptoms, and ways to mitigate Asian Glow with remedies like antacids or our Flyby Recovery Capsules. 

What Causes Asian Flush? Acetaldehyde.

Those who experience Asian Glow and other symptoms of Alcohol Flush Syndrome lack the enzyme that properly and completely breaks down ethanol (the chemical term for alcohol). 

Here’s how alcohol processes in a person that has all the necessary enzymes and thus does not experience symptoms of Asian flush: 

  1. The person consumes an alcoholic beverage, which the body recognizes as ethanol.
  2. This triggers an enzyme to break down the ethanol into acetaldehyde, a toxin. 
  3. Another enzyme then breaks the toxic acetaldehyde down even further into acetate, which is non-toxic. The body can then easily process and eliminate acetate. 

Asian Glow

Simply put, those who experience the symptoms of alcohol flush syndrome like a “glow,” do not have the second enzyme that further breaks down toxic acetaldehyde into non-toxic acetate. The acetaldehyde, which may remind you of a more commonly known toxin formaldehyde (which it's related to), is extremely toxic and builds up quite quickly in those lacking the enzyme. Six times more quickly, in fact. The reaction to this accumulation results in redness, and quite a few other symptoms. 

Asian flush genetically mutated gene

What Are the Symptoms of Asian Flush?

People tend to assume that a red face equals inebriation, but that's not always true. The signs and symptoms of Asian Flush as a result of the acetaldehyde build-up can include much more than just flushing of the face and upper body. Headaches are the next most commonly noted symptom of those with this condition. Other symptoms are: 

  • A feeling of pressure in the upper body
  • Red, bloodshot eyes
  • Racing heartbeat 
  • Red, itchy skin bumps (hives)
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A warm, tingly sensation (sometimes called Heat Flush)
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Dizziness

While those who don’t experience Alcohol Flush Syndrome can still get carried away on a night out drinking and experience these effects, those with Asian flush can start to see symptoms after just a few sips. Because of the severity and quick onset of these symptoms, some people with Asian flush simply choose not to drink. For those that do still partake in leisurely drinking, what are some of the remedies or preventative measures?

Does Pepcid Reduce Asian Glow? What Else Can Help?

There are a few ways that those who suffer from Alcohol Flush Syndrome have learned to reduce their symptoms. Here are a few suggestions you can try if you get a red face from drinking or other effects of Asian Flush: 

  • Boost Glutathione (Antioxidant): Taking Milk Thistle, Alpha Lipoic Acid and Vitamin C supplements are some ways to boost glutathione levels. Our Flyby Recovery Capsules have a proprietary blend of these elements and can be taken before drinking.
  • Take Histamine-2 blockers/Antihistamines: Original Strength PEPCID AC® and Maximum Strength PEPCID AC®, Zantac, and Zyrtec work by blocking the histamines released by the body when an accumulation of acetaldehyde occurs. This can relieve some Asian Glow symptoms, but it’s always important to consult a doctor before taking medications.
  • Try an antacid: Others have tried antacids like Pepto Bismol for Asian Flush symptom relief. PEPCID Complete® is an antacid and antihistamine combination and could work to help reduce the severity of Alcohol Flush Reaction. 
  • Apply Makeup: Blemish balm (BB) creams and tinted moisturizers can help ensure capillaries are hydrated and flexible and encourage the dissipation of blood from the surface of the skin, potentially mitigating red face from alcohol. This will only help reduce the surface level symptoms without affecting the underlying cause of Alcohol Flush. 
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Why Try Flyby to Reduce Asian Flush Symptoms?

Our founder Eddie Haui experiences Alcohol Flush since he lacks the ethanol processing enzyme. When he was in college, his desire to develop a way to party without its symptoms became quite strong. On a trip to Tokyo with some of his buddies, he found himself out in an all-you-can-drink izakaya. They experimented with some traditional herbs and other vitamins before that long night. Eddie awoke surprised at how well he felt the next morning. 

Upon returning home to the US, Eddie was inspired to continue experimenting and researching until he discovered the perfect blend of herbs, vitamins, and antioxidants. This became our best-selling Flyby Recovery Capsules. 
Rave reviews from Business Insider, Daily Mail, POPSUGAR, and The Hustle have noted that Flyby Recovery Capsules are a great way to boost glutathione and thus reduce Asian Flush symptoms. In fact, we are so convinced that our product works, that we offer a 30-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with it.

Drink Smarter, Live Better. Try Flyby Before Your Next Night Out.

If you are wondering how to reduce Asian Flush, or simply want to feel better than usual after a night out, try our Flyby Recovery Capsules. Just three capsules of our proprietary blend before drinking and another three before bed may help mitigate redness in the face and other symptoms of Alcohol Flushing. Order your Flyby Capsules now and join our growing community of happy customers experiencing Asian Flush relief!

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