It Causes Flushing, but Can Alcohol Make Rosacea Worse?
You have probably noticed your rosacea-prone face flushes with a cocktail or glass of wine. However, until now, dermatologists have felt alcohol did not participate in causing rosacea beyond inviting the embarrassing flush and blush. The evidence was lacking.
Flushing is due to alcohol’s ability to cause peripheral vasodilation (an increase of blood flow to skin’s capillary network). Dermatologists spent great efforts to de-stigmatize rosacea as a sign of alcohol excess.
We Now Have Evidence Turning This Notion On Its Head! I’m surprised – and Bummed!!
Researchers examined data from the huge Nurses’ Health Study II (1991 to 2005), comprising of 82,737 people. 5,000 women had rosacea. Over the 14 years, the study followed these nurses and it appears alcohol intake was associated with the presence of their rosacea. This was especially true for those who drank white wine and liquor, but not red wine.
This is very confusing, of course, because many people with rosacea say red wine is especially likely to make them flush. I will explain more. But first I have to admit I live in the wine country. We like our wine, wine makers, and growers. So I’m biased when it comes to any wine blame, so reader beware! Filter my following opinions accordingly 😊
Here’s The Summary:
This study looked more at the presence of rosacea, not flushing. This study asked the 82,737 participants (every 6 months) if they were clinically diagnosed with any type of rosacea.
The evidence linked alcohol intake with the rosacea diagnosis in a dose dependent manner. This means the more alcohol, the more the risk of rosacea. Only white wine and liquor was associated with rosacea — not red wine (phew, dodged that bullet – so far)!
Why Would White Wine and Alcohol Be Different Than Red Wine?
Experts conclude white wine and alcohol lack any anti-inflammatory components. Rosacea (an inflammatory condition) might benefit from the antioxidants in red wine over the long term. (Hmmm, I like that.) On the reverse side, red wine has more histamine and inflammatory factors which might lead to flushing. It looks like chard, pinot, cab, wine and spirits might get in trouble. I’ll keep my ear to the ground. Believe me, I have many reasons to care as I have rosacea myself 😊
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Alcohol intake and risk of rosacea in US women, JAAD http://www.jaad.org/article/S0190-9622(17)30292-X/abstract, Suyun Li, BA, Eunyoung Cho, ScD, Aaron M. Drucker, MD, Abrar A. Qureshi, MD, MPH, Wen-Qing Li, PhD