Why does one’s face turn pale white when one is frightened?



The skin of our face has a certain amount of color of its own, but the main part of the color of the face – at any rate, among people with light-colored skins – is the color of the blood shining through the skin. It is the heart that drives the blood through the skin of the face. When a person is frightened the nerves running from his brain to the heart interfere with the circulation, so scarcely any blood is sent through the blood vessels directly underneath the skin of the face, and we see the pale color.


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