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Published on | by redblob

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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.



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

  1. Zarjo Manuel says:

    I woke up today being not able to walk because my soles are actually painfully cracked and my skin is all red. I have psoriasis for the last 28 years. I had methotrexate therapy 2x already. I was relieved for several months on both occasions. But it wasn’t entirely gone. My doctor gave me neotigason for 6 months. I was relived for one year. That was 2012. This year I started to have it I’m soles. I’m on this page now because last night I downed 3 bottles of my favorite beer. The thought of giving it up is killing me! Thanks redblob.

  2. jamie says:

    I drink everyday, and lots. (Beer) and strong Canadian beer, not Coors or Bud light. I’m talking 10.1 and 14 a day. Psoriasis is the only outcome from this disgusting habit. It ruined everything in my life: money, jobs, health, body, spirit, face, everything, friendships, relationships, family, on and on and on!

    Warning: DO NOT TAKE METHOTREXATE WITH TOO MUCH ALCOHOL. I almost died and was hospitalized two weeks!

    Jamie

  3. Kelly X says:

    i didnt have skin problems of any type until I started drinking. EVERYDAY. Sometimes I’ll even have 4 full pints at a go. One fine day I had an itch on my knee, another day another on the back of my legs. Before I could stop it, I now have large palm size patches all over both of my knees and calves.

    I stop drinking THAT MUCH now. But the damage is done and its too late to do anything. #FML

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