You might enjoy drinking beer, wine, and spirits now and again, but should you drink if you have rosacea?
In short: probably not! But everyone is different, so listen to your own body above anything else.
It’s unfortunate, and probably not what people want to hear, but however much you may enjoy alcohol and its mood-enhancing effects, continuing to indulge in it, even minimally, is a bit ill-advised if you have rosacea. Read on to discover why!
While a single cause for this difficult skin condition has yet to be identified, the factors that trigger it are increasingly understood, and it’s long been established that alcohol is very high on the list.
For the effect that alcohol can have on rosacea sufferers, look no further than the famous American entertainer W.C. Fields. A committed lover of alcohol - a fact that was actually exploited as an integral part of his showbiz persona - the funnyman’s ‘trademark’ bulbous nose was a direct (and undoubtedly extremely uncomfortable) consequence of a severe bout of untreated rosacea that was triggered by his fondness for the bottle.
Rosacea affects millions around the world, causing redness on the face, which is concentrated on the cheeks, forehead, chin, and nose. It cannot be cured, but can be managed to an extent if the known triggers can be avoided as much as possible. There are many different triggers, including stress, exposure to the sun, certain foods, and, yes, alcohol.
Are some kinds of alcohol worse for rosacea?
Already fully aware that alcohol in general was a rosacea trigger, in 2004 the National Rosacea Society released the results of a survey of 700 rosacea sufferers, which was aimed at determining which types of alcohol are, or seem to be, the worst triggers. Popularly considered to possess certain health benefits if drunk in moderation, it was actually wine that proved to be the worst drink to bring on rosacea flare-ups - as quickly as immediately in some cases, but usually within a day.
Of those that responded to the survey, a hefty and convincing 76 percent stated that red wine was the worst trigger, whereas 56 percent said that white wine brought on an outbreak of rosacea.
Skin reactions from beer were reported by 41 percent, while champagne and vodka proved equally aggressive to 33 percent of those surveyed. Perhaps surprisingly in respect of their respective potencies, Tequila (28 percent), bourbon, gin, and rum (24 percent each) and whisky (21 percent) were the drinks registering the lowest instances of triggering rosacea flare-ups.
That being said, if all 700 people surveyed had responded, that’s still 147 rosacea sufferers whose condition was triggered by drinking whisky - so the figures for tipples at the lowest end of the scale should obviously not be interpreted as totally ‘safe’ to drink!
However, having said all that, you know your body better than anyone else!
Some rosacea sufferers find they can tolerate particular kinds of alcohol whenever they want; others will risk a flare on special occasions. Other still will avoid all alcohol completely. Only you can make that call! Take of note of what flares you up, and whether any drink is less triggering to you than others; it’s up to you how to manage your own condition.
For more information about managing rosacea, see our article How Do You Clear Up Rosacea?
Recommended products for rosacea-prone skin:
Balmonds have four different emollients that are particularly suitable for rosacea and which you can use in combination to keep your face well-nourished and well-hydrated, plus a non-irritant natural shampoo and body wash.
Balmonds Intensive Facial Oil
with rosehip, calendula, lavender & chamomile: great for night-time use
Balmonds Daily Moisturising Cream
with shea butter and calendula: a great neutral unscented moisturiser for daily hydration
Balmonds Cooling Cream
with shea, menthol, aloe vera & lavender: for calming flushed skin (always patch test before use, in case your skin doesn't tolerate menthol)
Balmonds Skin Salvation
with hemp and beeswax: for intensive hydration
Balmonds Natural Shampoo & Body Wash
with calendula & chamomile: good as a shower gel or & facial wash for super sensitive skin
If you require medical advice we recommend you always contact your healthcare professional.
If you or someone you are caring for seems very unwell, is getting worse or you think there's something seriously wrong, call for emergency services straight away. For general medical advice, please contact your healthcare professional, this article does not contain or replace medical advice.
Do not delay getting help if you're worried. Trust your instincts.