Asian Flush

Also referred to as alcohol flush reaction, the condition manifests as a red flushing response typically on one’s face, neck and chest after a few drinks of alcohol.  Given the social nature of alcohol consumption, many sufferers report that these physiological symptoms are also accompanied by feelings of anxiety and embarrassment.

There is a lot of information published about this disorder on the internet.  Some of it is accurate and some of it is simply wrong.  The purpose of this article is to provide a simple and understandable explanation of the nature of the disorder.

Learn more about Asian flush syndrome.

Who is at risk?

The flushing response to alcohol is typically, but not exclusively, experienced by Asians. According to a 2007 study conducted by researchers M Eng, S Luczak and T Wall, approximately 36% of people of Japanese, Chinese and Korean descent exhibit a distinct physiological response to the consumption of alcohol.

Another study concluded that the reason for this response can be narrowed down to a genetic enzyme deficiency observed to be most prevalent in Chinese-American, Japanese, Han Chinese, Korean and Taiwanese test samples.


Individuals usually report feeling a warm numbness or tightness in their face 10 to 20 minutes after consuming alcohol. This then escalates to more of a pulsing or throbbing feeling and coincides with the skin around the eyes and face turning red. The facial redness and other symptoms usually remain for about 1 to 2 hours depending on the amount of alcohol consumed.

Learn more about Asian flush symptoms.

Causes & Triggers

Asian flush is genetic, i.e. you’re born with it. This doesn’t mean you have some kind of disease from birth until you die. In fact, it is precisely what we don’t have that gives rise to all the problems.

What we lack is an enzyme called aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2). This enzyme is usually responsible for converting toxic acetaldehyde into relatively non-toxic acetate during the metabolism of alcohol.

Learn more about what causes Asian flush.

Related Conditions

Conditions often confused with Asian flush are the various allergies associated with alcohol. Despite the apparent similarities in the short term symptoms, the causes and dangers surrounding them are vastly different.

Learn more about conditions related to Asian flush.

Real Life Experience

This video was posted by a fellow sufferer of Asian flush. She describes some of the physiological symptoms discussed above along with the accompanying feelings of embarrassment commonly reported by surveyed subjects.

At the end of the video she makes a very good point. This is something that a lot of people go through and, as she so rightly states, there must be something we can do.

What Can We Do?

Getting informed about your condition is the best thing you can do, so take time to digest the information presented in this resource.

We also highly recommend joining our free Inner Circle support network where  you will receive our widely acclaimed Asian flush survival kit.

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