While the direct cause of psoriasis isn’t known, drinking alcohol does have an effect on this condition.
Consuming alcohol in even small amounts can:
- negatively impact the effects of your psoriasis treatment
- increase the harmful and serious side effects of some psoriasis medications, especially in pregnant women
- make your psoriasis worse or trigger a flare-up
- decrease likelihood of psoriasis remission
- impair your ability to follow your prescribed treatment plan
- reduce your immunity and alter your immune system, which will increase your risk of infection
- increase your chances of liver disease
Continue reading to learn more about the effects of alcohol on psoriasis.
Research has found that some people with psoriasis may also have nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). This finding shows that those with psoriasis should limit or exclude alcohol from their diets. This may help reduce the damage to your liver or reduce the severity of the NAFLD.
There is also a connection between alcoholism, or alcohol abuse, and psoriasis. Many times, alcohol abuse is triggered by depression, a common, co-occurring condition with psoriasis. Alcohol abuse can trigger psoriasis outbreaks as well as other skin conditions like rosacea and acne.
Some ways that alcohol may have a negative impact on psoriasis include:
- dangerous interactions with some psoriasis drugs like methotrexate
- increased risk of liver damage and disease
- increase in the severity of psoriasis symptoms
- increase in psoriasis flares
Other research points out a significant increase in alcohol-related deaths in those with psoriasis compared to those without psoriasis.
Research mainly focuses on the amount of alcohol and not the specific type. Any type of alcoholic beverage can be consumed in excess. Therefore, the type doesn’t matter when it comes to the relationship between alcohol and psoriasis.
The type also doesn’t matter when drinking alcohol with some psoriasis medications and treatment. Some medications warn to not drink any alcohol of any kind while taking.
When to see a doctor
You should tell your doctor if you have psoriasis and also drink alcohol. Your doctor can best advise you on whether there is a safe amount that you can drink or not depending on your treatment.
If you’re depressed because of your psoriasis or for any other reason, you should contact your doctor immediately. You should also talk to your doctor if you think you might be drinking excessive amounts of alcohol due to depression or other reasons. Your doctor can help find treatment plans that can help both your depression as well as any excessive use of alcohol.
Treatment and prevention
There are three primary ways to treat psoriasis flares:
- Topical treatments include corticosteroid lotions, vitamin D creams, and solutions.
- Light therapy — also known as photo therapy — uses ultraviolet light, which may be artificial or natural.
- Medications include injections and ones taken orally. Some of the most common are:
- biologic drugs which suppress your immune system
Your doctor may recommend one treatment at a time or a combination of these treatments. It may take some time to find the right treatment or combination of treatments that work best for you.
There is currently no cure for psoriasis. However, there are several effective treatments. These treatments may help control or reduce flares. They may also reduce the appearance of psoriasis on your skin, or possibly put your psoriasis into remission.
Reducing or eliminating your alcohol consumption can help reduce the severity of your psoriasis. It may also help your treatments be more effective. Either way, you should talk to your doctor before drinking alcoholic beverages.