The Glow

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This is the Asian Flush symptom we all know… The Glow. The red face, the puffy eyes, and the blotchy skin. The Asian Glow is what everyone recognizes.

The term Asian Glow is used interchangeably with Asian Flush. The more medical name you may hear is Alcohol Flush Reaction, while some people just call it the Alcohol Red Face. Not quite as catchy.

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Let’s break down the term Asian Glow. Well, because East Asians are primarily the ones who experience Alcohol Flush Reaction, so go the naming rights. And the second part? Some people get so red in the face and so bright, they call it a glow.

Some people think they are allergic to alcohol or have an allergy to something in the alcohol. This isn’t really the case. Alcohol Flush Reaction is the result of something called ALDH2 Deficiency, which is a genetic mutation common in Asians that leaves people unable to process acetaldehyde, a toxin that forms from the alcohol. It’s bad stuff, and it causes the inflammation we know and love as Asian Glow.

Actually, pretty much everybody who has Asian Glow, doesn’t love it. People frequently ask things like “are you okay?” or “what’s wrong?” or they may just assume you’re really, really drunk, even when you aren’t. That can be frustrating.

Asian Flush’s most noticeable symptom, The Glow, can be annoying, and sometimes embarrassing, but there’s a whole lot more to how it actually feels to have Asian Flush.