Lots of us will enjoy a drink every now and then but sometimes, people will enjoy a drink and discover that they are exhibiting symptoms of psoriasis.
As a result, these people may ask if there is a link between psoriasis and alcohol.
The short answer is yes, there is likely a link between the two but there’s a lot more to it than that.
Today’s article will examine what this potential link between psoriasis and alcohol is and what you can do about it.
What Is Psoriasis?
Psoriasis is a condition that shows itself with red and crusty skin patches with scaly patches of silver.
Generally, those afflicted with psoriasis will notice dry and red skin that often itches.
Experts believe the condition is a response to a problem with the immune system and forces your body to produce too many skin cells.
Why Would Alcohol Be Involved?
Many researchers believe that psoriasis can be a trigger to someone having a flare up of their psoriasis.
They believe that alcohol even in small amounts can lead to things like an initial trigger of the condition, make medications be less effective and overall make your symptoms last much longer.
Whilst experts aren’t exactly sure what causes psoriasis, they think it might have something to do with the immune system malfunctioning, along with potentially some genetic influences.
It’s important to note that some people may experience psoriasis symptoms when drinking alcohol, whereas others will not.
As alcohol is toxic, the body may be struggling to process it correctly and those affected will exhibit a psoriasis response due to the immune system not responding the way it should.
Additionally, some dermatologists believe that alcohol may contribute to the worsening of inflammation when it comes to psoriasis.
They think that due to the effects of alcohol on the brain’s neurotransmitters, the recovery process of inflammation is extended or halted.
However, there is still not clear evidence to whether these claims are scientifically true or not.
Many researchers are still debating this and state that much more research is needed to get a clearer picture of how alcohol and psoriasis (see also ‘Psoriasis: How Does It Spread?‘) are linked.
What Should You Do?
If you notice that psoriasis is frequently flaring up when you’ve consumed alcohol, there are a few things you need to do.
First and foremost, you don’t want to run the risk of making your symptoms worse, so you need to stop drinking alcohol as soon as possible.
Drink as much water as you can and use any necessary medications if you have been prescribed them.
Contact Your Doctor
You should consult with your doctor if you’ve noted these symptoms happening any time you consume alcohol.
It may be an allergic reaction to alcohol, so your doctor may need to take a blood test or other examination to determine the cause.
The doctor may also refer you to a dermatologist for further testing and treatment.
It’s important that you are always open and honest with your doctor so they can get the best treatment for you.
During this time, it’s important that you eat a healthy diet so you do not run the risk of worsening any skin condition symptoms.
Avoid foods that have lots of fat or grease and always get vegetables involved in your meals.
It’s also important to remain hydrated and get as much exercise as possible.
Experts have suggested that exercise can help with some skin conditions, so speak with your doctor about this and see what they recommend.
Speak To A Pharmacist
Many drug stores will have help at hand, especially if your doctor has prescribed or recommended something specific.
Speak with your local pharmacist and ask them what they might recommend for your condition for things like pain relief.
Alcoholism And Psoriasis
As we previously mentioned, it’s not exactly clear whether alcohol is the cause of psoriasis flare ups, but it’s almost certain that there is a link between the two.
Research has suggested that those who have the condition drink much more alcohol than those without psoriasis.
It’s unclear why this is the case, but it’s speculated that the condition plays a heavy role on someone’s mental health.
Psoriasis can lead to someone exhibiting symptoms of anxiety and depression, which can make a person turn to things like alcohol for a way of coping with their psychological problems.
However, by doing so – they may be making their condition worse. One such way is due to the dehydrating effects of alcohol.
When we are dehydrated, the body may try to take hydration for the vital organs from anywhere else – including the skin.
If you already have a skin condition, this will simply make things worse.
What Can Make Psoriasis Worse?
Whilst we know that alcohol will probably not make the condition any better, there’s lots more things that can have detrimental effects to the condition.
Smoking has been known to be problematic for psoriasis sufferers – even second hand smoke – due to its skin drying properties.
Next, cold weather can play a role in psoriasis flare ups.
It’s suggested that if you have the condition during cold weather, try to remain indoors as much as possible and always ensure you are using your topical creams if prescribed.
Bug bites and other open wounds can make psoriasis worse too, likely due to the immune system not functioning correctly – as this can lead to infection easily.
If you suspect infection, seek medical advice immediately.
The Bottom Line
Psoriasis can be problematic so it’s important that you are careful with it.
Whilst it’s not clear whether alcohol is the cause of the condition, it likely contributes to the condition and likely makes it worse.
If you have psoriasis flare ups, speak with your doctor and get expert advice.