I am sure you know you go red after a few drinks, but with psoriasis, you REALLY GO RED! For Shailesh, this became so apparent during his first year of university in the US, when he glugged his way through more and more alcohol than he had ever in his life before; it was awesome, and awful. For every ml of alcohol, he paid a bagful of silvery flakes.
Now fast-forward 3 years, and he has learnt to go easy on his alcohol – for the sake of his skin. He has learnt to expect payback from his skin when he wakes up, and a shiny flaky hungover is not what anyone would want.
I read an old article recently, in the journal Dermatologica, published by Monk and Neil in 1986, who were studying the relationship between alcohol and psoriasis in 100 patients. They found that “in male patients, heavy drinking, at a level liable to be detrimental to health, was found significantly more common in those with severe psoriasis; and alcohol related medical and social problems were frequent.”
Other than social problems, alcohol also affects psoriasis patients in other ways, including:
- Dry skin – Alcohol sucks all the moisture from your skin. Alcohol lovers would know that alcohol is a diuretic, i.e. your body eliminates alcohol mainly through urination. This dehydrates your body. It means there is less water available to keep your skin moist and healthy. So just imagine what it does to your skin that already has a tendency to get flaky and dry.
- Also, excessive alcohol is directly linked to deficiencies of vitamin A and E, which are important if you want to have soft peach-like skin.
- Flare ups – Like Shailesh, many patients find that their psoriasis increases after a bout of alcohol drinking. Somehow, men tend to be affected more than women with psoriasis.
- Alcohol can slow down the effect of medication you are taking or probably stop them from working at all. Drugs like methotrexate don’t really go well with alcohol. People with psoriasis are usually put on methotrexate (which would only suppress the symptoms and not even touch the root cause).
Prolonged use of methotrexate has serious effects on liver. And if you a moderate to heavy drinker of alcohol, the combined effect of alcohol and methotrexate can cause irreparable damage to your liver.
The type of drink also does make a difference. In recent studies, consumption of non-light beer seemed to be associated with the flare up of psoriasis. Drinking more than five to six non-light beers can double the risk of flare-ups. So, we suggest you to go easy on the liver-pounding. Sometimes, even a small quantity can make your psoriasis explode into a flare-up.
Does that mean you can never drink? Keep in mind- moderation is the key. Follow your doctor’s advise on how much alcohol consumption is safe for you. And if you find that alcohol does worsen your psoriasis symptoms, the answer is simple- STOP DRINKING.
Let us know if you found this information useful on why alcohol is bad for your Psoriasis. Also, if you are looking for a treatment for your Psoriasis that is safe, gentle and long lasting, look no more than Homoeopathy treatment for psoriasis. Get in touch with us to know how Dr Rajesh Shah’s research based homoeopathy treatment for psoriasis at LifeForce can help you. You can give us a call at +91-22-66888888 or drop in an email at email@example.com or read more here.
-Dr.Roopal Shukla, Associate Doctor to Dr Rajesh Shah, Team LifeForce.