Here’s Why Booze Can Make Your Face Red, Flushed, and Swollen
Drinking too much might be raising your risk of this skin condition
By Christa Sgobba
Face flushing? You might want to look at what you’re drinking: Alcohol can raise your risk of a skin condition called rosacea, a new study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology suggests.
In the study, researchers quizzed nearly 83,000 people on their alcohol intake every four years. They discovered that the more total alcohol they drank, the more likely they were to develop rosacea over the 14-year follow up.
But some kinds of booze seemed more likely to cause the skin condition than others: For instance, people who drank five or more servings of white wine a week were 49 percent more likely to develop rosacea than those who never drank white wine. And those who downed five or more servings of liquor a week were 28 percent more likely to experience the skin issue.
The link persisted even after the researchers adjusted for other factors that could be skewing the relationship, like body mass index, smoking status, and physical activity.
Rosacea is an inflammatory skin condition marked by facial redness, flushing, or swelling, often targeted in the center of the face. So how does alcohol contribute to it?
There may be several ways, the study authors write. For one, alcohol is a vasodilator, meaning it causes your blood vessels to relax and widen. It may also trigger the production of inflammatory proteins, which can lead to redness, too.
But why white wine and liquor in particular? Those are the only two types of alcoholic beverages with high concentrations of alcohol that lack anti-inflammatory compounds, like flavonoids, that are found in red wine.
Still, more research needs to be done to see how these findings apply to you: Because the study was performed on women, other studies looking specifically at guys must be done to confirm the findings.
In the meantime, if your skin redness is bothering you, it’s time to visit your dermatologist. He or she may prescribe a topical gel to reduce redness.
Originally published on menshealth.com