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Published on | by redblob


Alcohol and Psoriasis: Do a Few Beers Really Matter?

Do you like to come home after a hard days work and pick at your flakes as you cry in the corner of your living room nursing a bottle of Jack Daniels? Well, so do I. And apparently its not that good for you if what people say about alcohol and psoriasis is true.

Drinking problem? What drinking problem?

Drinking problem? What drinking problem?

Now everyone knows you go red after a few drinks, but with psoriasis, you REALLY GO RED! That became apparent to me during my first year of uni in the UK, when I glugged my way through more alcohol than I had ever done in my life before; it was wonderful, and terrible. For every ml, I paid with a bagful of silvery flakes.

Now fast-forward 6 years, and I’ve learned to go easy when I go out – for the sake of my skin. I still get awesome drunk from time to time, but I know to expect payback from my skin when I wake up, and a flaky hungover is not what I want.

Alcohol sucks all the moisture out of your skin

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it dehydrates your body. So you can imagine what it does to skin that already has a predisposition to being dry and flaky! Yes, it dries it out like a slice of buffalo meat being smoked by a bunch of Red Indians.

Does that mean I can’t drink? Is life worth living? Since the body mainly eliminates alcohol through urination, it means that there’ll be less water available to keep the skin nice and moist. Not only that, but excessive use of alcohol (i.e. Alcoholics Anonymous style) has been linked to deficiencies of vitamin A and E, which are vital if you want to have soft, peach-like skin.

So, if you want your skin to have a fighting chance against psoriasis, we suggest that you go easy on the liver-pounding! This means no more beer, no jägerbombs, no piña coladas, no vodka, no sambuca. ONLY TEQUILA. Just kidding, no tequila. Even something as small as 1 unit of alcohol can make your body explode into a flare up.

And if that’s not enough, there’s more. Some treatments for psoriasis, such as methotrexate, already put a lot of strain on the liver, and the combined pressure of alcohol can lead to serious long-term damage in the poor organ.

The good news about alcohol and psoriasis… *hic*

Some alcohol types are tolerated by psoriasis sufferers

Game on!

The good news is that when you do manage to take control of your psoriasis, you are allowed a glass or two of red wine – it seems to be well-tolerated by most people with psoriasis.

Just remember to not go overboard, and drink plenty of water – 2 litres MINIMUM. We’re not kidding, guzzle it like you’re a 4×4 at the fuel pump. Trust me, when I haven’t, I’ve woken up the morning after a big night with psoriasis so sore that I want to scratch my skin off completely.

After that, just experiment with what different alcohol does to you; for example, I’ve found out that drinking vodka straight is tolerable for my skin (in certain quantities of course), but even 2 beers of Budweiser will seriously inflame it. What do you think about alcohol and psoriasis? Does it affect you? Please share your story below.

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About the Author

I'm just an average 26 year old living with psoriasis. Over the last decade, I've tried everything, from real snake poison to rubbing banana peels over my body. I've finally found an approach that's working for me, and I'm sharing it with all the flakers out there. But Psoriasis Blob is not about one man, it's a growing community of great, red people.

6 Responses to Alcohol and Psoriasis: Do a Few Beers Really Matter?

  1. Chris says:

    Thank you so much! This blog has been so helpful with handling my psoriasis!

  2. JC says:

    Hi! I have psoriasis and have been undergoing treatment. I went to an allopathic doctor, went to another skin specialist (that used Methotrexate) and finally now a homoeopath. With all 3 I asked them if I should stop drinking alcohol – and all 3 said its your wish, but alcohol does not interfere with our treatment. I was surprised when not only 1 but all 3 said it!

    I may drink 3 drinks (60 ml each) or half a bottle of rum some times, and the effect of alcohol is the same – the psoriasis flares up badly the next morning. Maybe people who have P have developed an inherent allergy to alcohol, as not only does it dehydrate, but it also also tends to make your skin itch.

    But another comment which my recent homoeopath said is that “if you want to alcohol, do it for yourself not for the treatment I am giving you, as alcohol doesn’t interferes with it.” I was amazed.

    Secondly, he said that any restrictions such as drinking alcohol or quitting to smoke during a treatment may speed-up the recovery, but it would be temporary and not a “full, concrete” recovery, because once you think that you are free of P and start drinking alcohol again, it could come back.

    Well, my homoeopath is over 65, he’s an extremely wise doctor and is a specialist on chronic diseases involving the skin.

    His treatment is working on my P. Its been 2 months now, and the medicine may be expensive but it’s definitely working on me. He took 2 months to stop the flare up on my body, and the other patches may take up to 6 months or a year, because of the merciless cold weather of Dec/Jan in north India, which completely flaure up my body, especially my chest/back/head and face.

    I still drink alcohol but have reduced the amounts. I left alcohol for a few days and the P subsided, with no itching – but will quitting alcohol lead to a complete cure? I doubt this theory.

    To sum up “reducing alcohol gives you a better feel-good factor, and may also reduce itching of psoriasis, but will NOT eliminate psoriasis” in my experience.

    Best wishes to all my friends with adamant P, I hope you have a speedy recovery. My doctor has claimed that he shall remove my P in 6 months – 2 have passed and I am waiting for another 4 to pass. Kind Regards, JC.

    • saini says:

      JC please tell me where your homoeopathic doctor is located. I’m also taking medicine from a homoeopath. I’m from north India. Thank you

  3. james says:

    I always had doubts about the stupid answers of doctors saying it is due to “stress”, bull dung! For the past 4 months I have been drinking 10.1% Canadian beer, and my scalp is itchy and flaky and red and bloody… I always thought it was alcohol…………once again, I was right! I have to cut down on the 4 litres pers day of beer, at 10.1 percent % !!!


  4. I have found a huge difference in my psoriasis by cutting out gluten. When I drink tequila or gluten free cider or even vodka, my psoriasis is fine the next day as long as I stayed hydrated. But when it comes to beer and malt liquor, my body and my psoriasis takes a cruel beating.

    I have had plaque psoriasis on my knees/shins and elbows for about 6 years and 3 years ago (right in the middle of my college/party career) I formed guttate psoriasis that now covers my arms, thighs and stomach.

    I still go out… I’m in my twenties and recently graduated. I’m not missing out on that. But I take extra precautions so that I can go out and not be worried about what my body will look like when I wake up. I cut out gluten a year and a half ago and it has made a HUGE difference.

  5. tom says:

    For me, drinking beer definitely makes P worse. However I love beer.

    I have found though that drinking slippery elm bark tea (consistency of mucus) beforehand helps a lot.

    As I understand it, P may be caused by a very thin stomach lining, so that all the bad things we eat can easily pass into the bloodstream. Slippery elm coats the stomach and thus helps.

    I have been using pine tar soap for a while now,and it definitely helps, and it is cheap. As for food, I sinned and ate a cheeseburger and fries, and noticed it soon after in the form of arthritis pain.

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