Author: Gary Jackson

How does alcohol affect your skin? Long and short-term effects

In addition to the skin rashes discussed earlier, alcohol consumption has been linked to several other skin conditions. According to, drinking large amounts of alcohol can increase a person’s risk of developing psoriasis. Patients with psoriasis and high alcohol intake are also more likely to suffer from depression. Alcohol intolerance is caused by a genetic condition in which the body can’t break down alcohol efficiently. The only way to prevent these uncomfortable reactions is to avoid alcohol. If you experience a mild allergic reaction, over-the-counter oral antihistamines may be enough to treat it.

  • If the reaction is severe enough to cause swelling of the face, tongue or throat, a true alcohol allergy may be present, which can be life-threatening.
  • Other factors that may trigger type 1 PCT include oestrogen, iron and viral infections (especially hepatitis C).
  • Alcohol-induced skin reactions can stem from a genetic inability of the body to process alcohol properly.

It’s also found in many foods and beverages, especially fermented products. For example, aged cheese, smoked meats, sauerkraut, wine, and beer tend to be high in histamines. Usually, skin reactions related to alcohol are due to an intolerance rather than an actual allergy. It’s important to note that some alcohol-related skin reactions may occur for unknown reasons.

Skin conditions affected or caused by alcohol

However, standardized skin testing using different types of alcohol is not currently available. However, some people with Hodgkin lymphoma experience pain in their lymph nodes after consuming alcohol. With an alcohol allergy, a person’s immune system overreacts to alcohol. Alcohol intolerance is a genetic condition where an individual’s digestive system cannot properly break down the substance. People may also have an allergic reaction to specific ingredients in alcoholic drinks rather than the alcohol itself.

Drinking too much alcohol can increase your risk of getting skin cancer, especially melanoma. A study by the University of California found that people who drank more than three alcoholic drinks per week had a 55% higher chance of getting melanoma than people who didn’t drink. Eczema is a chronic inflammatory skin condition characterized by dry, itchy patches on the skin. Drinking alcohol can trigger eczema flare-ups in some people, possibly due to its dehydrating effects on the body. Alcohol-induced rashes can take many forms, including contact dermatitis, rosacea, and psoriasis. These rashes can be triggered by a variety of factors, including the type of alcohol consumed, the amount consumed, and the frequency of consumption.

Skin prick test

If you have any concerns with your skin or its treatment, see a dermatologist for advice. DermNet does not provide an online consultation service.If you have any concerns with your skin or its treatment, see a dermatologist for advice. Other factors that may trigger type 1 PCT include oestrogen, iron and viral infections (especially hepatitis C).

  • Alcohol intolerance occurs when your body doesn’t have the proper enzymes to break down (metabolize) the toxins in alcohol.
  • If your doctor prescribes an epinephrine auto-injector, you should carry it with you at all times.
  • If people experience symptoms after drinking alcohol, they should speak with a doctor for further advice.
  • In addition to diet, certain lifestyle factors can also contribute to the development of alcohol-induced rashes.

This redness can even spread to other areas of the body and can be raised, bumpy, and itchy like hives. Some of the effects of alcohol on the skin can be noticed right away, as soon as the person has a drink or while they are still drinking, such as an alcohol rash. Other effects will not be seen for months or even many years after. Hodgkin lymphoma is a blood cancer that can affect a person’s lymphatic system. People with this condition usually experience swelling in the lymph nodes in areas including the neck, armpits, or groin. An alcohol allergy and alcohol intolerance are two different conditions.

Sulfites intolerance

Symptoms are more likely to be a reaction to the ingredients in a drink, or the alcohol causing other types of allergies to worsen. For example, alcohol may exacerbate preexisting asthma conditions. The immune system usually produces antibodies to fight harmful substances in the body. However, in people with an alcohol allergy, the system mistakenly produces antibodies to attack alcohol following exposure to the substance, triggering various symptoms. Antihistamines can be effective in reducing itching and inflammation caused by alcohol-induced rashes.

  • Excessive alcohol (ethanol) intake or alcohol abuse can result in many health problems and is implicated as a cause or aggravating factor for several skin conditions.
  • Many of the effects of drinking every day can be reversed through early intervention.
  • Depending on your symptoms, they might refer you to an allergist for testing and treatment.
  • Alcohol can also affect a person’s skin in other ways, in both the short term and long term.
  • Because of this, some people can develop jaundice, which is a yellowing of the skin.

To combat the short-term effects of alcohol on the skin, a person can drink water to stay hydrated while consuming alcohol. Many of the long-term effects of alcohol on a person’s skin happen as a result of AUD. All of these skin conditions may occur without any history of alcohol abuse.

Transient flushing is also a common side effect of alcohol, particularly in heavy drinkers. It is due to acetaldehyde, the main breakdown product of alcohol. Acetaldehyde is thought to cause flushing by stimulating release of histamine.

Does Alcohol Cause Rashes

For example, stress is a known trigger for many types of skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis. Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality can also weaken the immune system and make it more difficult for the body to fight off allergens or other triggers that can cause skin reactions. Avoiding processed foods, sugary drinks, and excessive amounts of caffeine can also help keep your skin healthy and reduce the risk of developing skin reactions. However, for skin conditions related to AUD, liver disease, or excessive alcohol consumption, the best preventive measure is to stop drinking alcohol.