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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.

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

  1. RGL says:

    Hi there,

    If I drink red wine, the redness fades, especially when I wake up. Of course not more than 3/4 glasses. Vodka straight, I read on a book that is allowed, just because the level of sugar is minimum if not zero. Beer, even one sip could trigger immediately the problem, as it is made with plenty of sugar.

  2. says:

    Great article very entertaining… Alcohol is a factor only because of the calories…. when I do a total 800-1200 meat and vegetable- based regime … no problem, but of course I do loves me a bottle of wine…! So whenever it flares I cut out the alcohol for a few weeks to months depending and lo and behold it works!

    • redblob says:

      Cheers for the comment – I’ve never really thought of alcohol being bad for P from a calorie perspective. That’s interesting. I’m sure you must be having a dry January after the end of year holidays – I am! And my skin is looking pretty happy because of it. Had way too much rum over the last few weeks and you can’t run away from the flare-up no matter how hard you try, it will get you!

  3. Matt Noblitt says:

    Thanks for the Blog. I drink way too much (says the wife) so until I test your theory I ain’t saying shit. But I have got to try it. I’m tired of scratching until bleeding in my sleep. I have doctored the same spot for three years but recently it has spread badly below both calves. Thanks again

  4. christafari says:

    Thanks for the thoughts! My only problem is that I can’t sleep unless I’m half drunk due to the itching and burning. I guess I will try to quit for while to see if it helps. It’s 5:30 in the morning and I’ve been scratching all night. I was just on a blog that said diet has a lot to do with it… Of course its, no alcohol, no junk food, no red meat, no citrus, no gluten, and no condiments. And of course no smoking… W.t.f are we just supposed eat lettuce and drink water. Lol. Thanks again for your blog!

    • redblob says:

      What else does anyone need apart from lettuce and water! Rabbits would go nuts for that. Yeah, it can feel limited at the start, but it is possible. The biggest step forward would be to eliminate processed and junk food. And then you just cut it down from there. Once it starts healing, you’ll be motivated to continue. There’ll be cheat days, with burgers and ketchup and pizza, but everyone has those. Soldier on!

  5. scotka says:

    First time here – love everyone’s comments… Makes me feel I’m okay ( a bit ) !!!! My P started a couple years ago after some massive stress with Canada Revenue Agency…and since then, it feels comfortable recurring itself unless I get to Cancun for a few weeks when it goes away. I eat well, exercise almost daily, do not smoke but I enjoy my cocktails. Which is why I wonder why it never surfaced before given I am in my late 50’s… So, points taken that beer is not good, fast food is not good, over excessive alcohol is not good, smoking is not good… My good lord, can we at least have sex???? 😉 Just a little levity to a horrible skin condition for many of us sufferers out there!!!!

  6. jamie says:

    I used to wake up in the morning with a sand box of skin on my bedsheets and blood all over.

    I quit drinking for seven weeks… and my psoriasis almost disappeared. No itching no nothing!

    Fruits, vegetables,exercise and positive thinking, loving yourself and others, will take care of this garbage!


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