Drinking alcohol often dries out the skin, as well as dilating the blood vessels, meaning eczema becomes more red, itchier and uncomfortable.
- has a dehydrating effect on the body generally, but also on the skin, which is already an issue in eczema sufferers
- dilates blood vessels making the skin itchier, drier, more inflamed and more uncomfortable
- depletes stores of nutrients, such as B-complex vitamins, and blocks the action of vital vitamin C.
- introduces substances that can trigger inflammation such as sugar and wheat and which worsens eczema
- can damage the liver which makes it harder for the body with an impaired immune system to process allergens, leading to more frequent flare-ups
- makes it harder for the skin to regenerate and repair itself, accelerating ‘ageing’ and skin damage and making eczema flares more frequent and harder to heal from
- can led to poor decision-making over health (ie what you eat, how you manage your emollients etc)
In conclusion, how likely alcohol is to trigger flares is dependent on how often you drink and how well your eczema is managed when you do. If your general health is good, despite being prone to eczema, one drink may not have much of an effect. However, it may be that an evening out drinking will leave skin inflamed and dry, and will trigger a itchy flare-up that lasts for a few days.
In the worst case scenario, frequent excessive drinking can have a dramatic effect on how well your eczema is managed; it can lead to long-term nutritional deficiencies, poorer skin resilience and health, and disrupt the careful skincare routine needed to manage your eczema.