101 Guide to Psoriasis and Alcohol
If you have psoriasis, it’s crucial to know how alcohol can impact your condition. We're going to explore how psoriasis is affected by alcohol and what you should do to help lower your risk of these adverse side effects.
Alcohol’s Effect on Psoriasis
The main cause of psoriasis remains unknown, but we do know that:
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is found in some people with psoriasis
- Alcohol abuse seems to be linked to psoriasis and/or outbreaks
Certain medications taken to help calm symptoms of psoriasis, namely methotrexate and similar medications, may cause severe interactions when you consume alcohol. Additionally, alcohol has been linked to:
- Psoriasis symptom increases
- Psoriasis flare-ups increases
Any alcoholic consumption can lead to worse symptoms and an increased risk of psoriasis flare-ups.
Your body and immune system each play a role in psoriasis. For some reason, alcohol consumption seems to set off these triggers for many people. However, there are some people who can drink alcohol with psoriasis and do not notice a difference in their overall symptoms or health.
If you do notice that alcohol is a trigger, you’ll want to limit consumption and discuss your options with a dermatologist.
Discussing Your Concerns with a Dermatologist
Scheduling an appointment with a dermatologist will shed some light on psoriasis and alcohol. You may find that you can consume one to two drinks without any issue. However, if you normally have severe psoriasis, you may want to discuss how eliminating alcohol can improve your symptoms.
Often, changes, such as eliminating alcohol consumption, are enough to curb your psoriasis severity. Additionally, consuming alcohol may:
- Interfere with specific psoriasis treatments, potentially worsening the associated side-
- Increase the risk of liver problems when taking certain medications
- Increase the risk of women suffering from psoriatic arthritis
Psoriasis is a result of inflammation going out of control, using the same immune functions that help you overcome injury and infection. Specifically, psoriasis results from your immune system identifying healthy skin cells as injured or infectious; therefore, there is an attack against healthy tissue.
When you drink alcohol, the neurotransmitters in your brain will become impacted and may be the reason for the negative consequences of drinking alcohol as a psoriasis sufferer.
For many people, if they notice that their psoriasis worsens when they drink alcohol, the best course of action is to limit consumption. Your dermatologist may be able to help you find your “limit,” which may be one drink before symptoms increase.
There is also some discussion that people with psoriasis tend to drink alcohol more often than non-drinkers. In this case, it may be that alcohol led to the psoriasis occurring, but there is not enough data present to make a scientific judgment on the matter.
Treatment and Prevention of Psoriasis Flares
Psoriasis sufferers that are in the middle of a flare-up due to alcohol consumption will want to cease drinking alcohol at this time. You should call your dermatologist to follow a treatment plan, which may include:
- Light therapy
- Topical treatments
You can’t cure psoriasis, but you can treat the condition and learn to control your flare-ups. Alcohol may increase symptom severity and cause your psoriasis to come out of remission.