Does Alcohol and Wine Make Rosacea Worse?

does alcohol and wine make rosacea worse

If you have rosacea and like a glass of wine or cocktail, you want to know for certain if alcohol and wine make rosacea worse. If so, you want to be prepared. A new scientific study answers this question. 

Originally, we thought it was flushing that was triggered but not rosacea inflammation.

Alcohol Causes Rosacea Flushing, but Can Alcohol Make Rosacea Worse?

You have probably noticed your rosacea-prone face flushes with a cocktail or glass of wine. However, until now, dermatologists have felt alcohol did not participate in causing rosacea beyond inviting the embarrassing flush and blush. The evidence was lacking.

Flushing is due to alcohol’s ability to cause peripheral vasodilation (an increase of blood flow to skin’s capillary network). Dermatologists spent great efforts to de-stigmatize rosacea as a sign of alcohol excess.

We now have evidence turning this notion on its head! I'm surprised - and bummed!!

Alcohol and Wine May Trigger the Inflammation of Rosacea

Researchers examined data from the huge Nurses’ Health Study II (1991 to 2005), comprising of 82,737 people. 5,000 women had rosacea. Over the 14 years, the study followed these nurses and it appears alcohol intake was associated with the presence of their rosacea. This was especially true for those who drank white wine and liquor, but not red wine.

does red wine make rosacea worse

This is very confusing, of course, because many people with rosacea say red wine is especially likely to make them flush. I will explain more. But first I have to admit I live in the wine country and have a Pinot Noir vineyard.

We like our wine, wine makers, and growers here in the wine country. So, I’m biased when it comes to any wine blame and must warn my readers to beware! Filter my following opinions accordingly? The image here is our vineyard on a harvest morning at fall harvest - oh I can taste the future Pinot when I see those grapes in bins.

Scientific Study Summary of Alcohol and Rosacea Correlation:

This study looked more at the presence of rosacea, not flushing. This study asked the 82,737 participants (every 6 months) if they were clinically diagnosed with any type of rosacea.

The evidence linked alcohol intake with the rosacea diagnosis in a dose dependent manner. This means the more alcohol, the more the risk of rosacea. Only white wine and liquor was associated with rosacea -- not red wine (phew, dodged that bullet - so far)!

Why Would White Wine and Alcohol Be Different Than Red Wine?

White Wine and Alcohol Trigger Rosacea but not Red Wine

Experts conclude white wine and alcohol lack any anti-inflammatory components. Rosacea (an inflammatory condition) might benefit from the antioxidants in red wine over the long term. (Hmmm, I like that since I have a pinot noir vineyard in the California wine country!!) On the reverse side, red wine has more histamine and inflammatory factors which might lead to flushing.

Use a rosacea healing skin care routine if you struggle with rosacea 

Rosacea Therapy Skin Care Kit

Skin care can inflame or quiet rosacea. I created my Rosacea Therapy Skin Care Kit to provide all the key elements of a rosacea-healing skin care routine. This routine is built from my 35-years experience treating rosacea and from my experience with my own rosacea-prone complexion. (Did I mention that I grow grapes and love enjoying a good glass of Pinot Noir??) 

I have other skin care kits for rosacea with components of this entire kit. Click here to learn more about rosacea.

Meanwhile, I continue to test whether red wine makes my rosacea worse while using the best rosacea skin care - so far so good! 

does red wine make rosacea worse




Alcohol intake and risk of rosacea in US women, JAAD, Suyun Li, BA, Eunyoung Cho, ScD, Aaron M. Drucker, MD, Abrar A. Qureshi, MD, MPH, Wen-Qing Li, PhD