The Link between Eczema and Alcohol

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Though eczema doesn’t belong to a group of allergic disorders, but there are some trigger factors of this chronic skin disorder. One of interesting issues is the link of eczema and alcohol. As well we know, alcohol can be found easily in many skin care products, such as moisturizers. But many sufferers find that the use of moisturizers that contain alcohol can make their rash get worse.

The urge of scratching and dry skin in eczema

The affected skin by eczema can be red and scaly. It can create a lesion with blistering, brownish, and also can be thickened. And many times, the itching sensation is one of the most inconveniences.


Even many sufferers say that dealing with itching is the most challenging thing when the flare-up comes. And dry skin can make the urge of scratching an itchy spot of the affected skin get worse.

Other factors such as exposure to extremely environmental temperatures (too hot or too cold), excessive exposure to the sun, uncontrolled high stress, and exposure to allergens (such as pet dander, dusts, or detergents) also have an effect in making the symptoms of eczema get worse. But the effect of these factors also can vary from sufferer to sufferer.

The most common type of this skin disorder is atopic dermatitis, and this type is more likely to run in families with asthma, hay fever, or other allergies. For more detailed information about other types of eczema, visit this section!

Unfortunately, currently no one knows the answer for the exact cause of this skin disorder. Furthermore, it is more likely to become chronic. In other words, the flare-ups of the disease can come periodically and then subside.

The good news, there are some effective treatments to help cope with the problem. Though it may be incurable, but it can be controlled.

However, the effectiveness of a specific treatment also can vary. Therefore, many times the treatment plan can involve a good deal of trial & error [1].

The effects of alcohol on your skin

While some studies found that drinking alcohol (particularly for moderately drinking) may be linked with some health benefits, other studies confirmed that drinking it (particularly for excessive drinking) can increase the risk of some health conditions.

It’s undeniable that drinking alcohol can help provide a feeling of warmth. It can cause the tiny blood vessels beneath the skin to widen. This allows more blood flow to the surface of the skin. As a result, you will feel warm after drinking.


image_illustration119The problem comes when people drink it improperly (either abusing alcohol or dependent on alcohol). The term of ‘abuse’ and ‘dependent’ is different.

  1. If you are dependent on alcohol, this means you get used to drink it regularly or even every day. You can drink more & more to find and get the same effects. If you stop drinking, you can have some withdrawal symptoms.
  2. And if you abuse alcohol, this means you drink it too much but you are an individual who is not dependent on alcohol. However, people who are dependent on alcohol are also at high risk of abusing alcohol.

If you drink, it’s so recommended to drink in moderation. According to AHA (the American Heart Association), it’s recommended to drink not more than 1 drink a day for women, and 1-2 drinks a day for men [2].

How about the effect on the skin? Alcohol, soda, and caffeinated beverages can dehydrate the body, including the skin. This effect can deplete the essential nutrients supply to the cells of the skin, which then can cause the skin look dull.

Another interesting fact, people who get used drinking heavily are more likely to stick with poor diet. And we know well that the quality of diet can play a key role to maintain the health of the skin and overall health [3].

Link between eczema and alcohol

As mentioned before, dry skin can worsen the urge of scratching. Therefore, it’s recommended to use the appropriate moisturizers. Applying moisturizers can help soothe the itchy, dry skin.

But since the skin of people with eczema is more sensitive than average, again it’s very important to choose and use appropriate moisturizer.

Drinking alcohol can dehydrate the skin (as noted before), so does applying it topically.

Therefore in general, moisturizer products without alcohol are commonly suggested to help soothe the dry, itchy skin in people with eczema [4].


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