According to new research published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, increased consumption of alcohol, particularly white wine and liquor, is associated with a higher risk of rosacea in women.
"Drinking alcohol has a number of effects on your body that can impact your skin," said Abrar A. Qureshi, MD, Department of Dermatology, Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island. "While alcohol has been linked to a variety of skin disorders, including psoriasis and acne, our research suggests that it's also associated with the development of rosacea in women."
For the study, the researchers reviewed data collected from 82,737 women via the Nurses' Health Study II. Over the 14-year period from 1991 to 2005, there were 4,945 cases of rosacea in the study population.
Results showed that women who drank alcohol had an elevated risk of developing rosacea, and that risk increased as their alcohol consumption increased. In examining the risk associated with specific types of alcohol, the researchers found that white wine and liquor were significantly associated with a higher rosacea risk.
Although more research is necessary to determine why alcohol consumption may increase the risk of rosacea, the authors believe that alcohol's weakening of the immune system and widening of the blood vessels could contribute to the redness and flushing that occur when one develops the condition.
The authors said that further research is also needed to shed more light on the connections between specific types of alcohol and rosacea.
"Our research contributes to the sizable body of evidence that demonstrates alcohol's harmful effects on the body, including the skin," said Dr. Qureshi. "Science has identified many factors that may potentially cause rosacea, and our study indicates that alcohol may be one of them."
"Women who wish to maintain the health of their skin -- and their overall health -- should limit their alcohol consumption," he added. "Those who believe they have rosacea should see a board-certified dermatologist for the proper diagnosis and treatment."
SOURCE: American Academy of Dermatology