White wine and liquor may increase rosacea risk, according to a new study in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. It is widely held that red wine consumption is linked to rosacea, but the new study points to other types of alcohol as the more likely culprits.
The study analyzed data from 82,737 participants in the Nurses Health Study II. Researchers looked at the nurses’ alcohol consumption, what type of alcohol they drank (regular or light beer, red or white wine, or liquor) and whether they had been diagnosed with rosacea, and then calculated the risk of developing rosacea based on the amount of alcohol consumed. Women who drank alcohol had an elevated risk compared to those who didn’t drink, and that the risk increased as alcohol consumption increased.
However, the increased risk varied based on the type of alcohol consumed, the study showed. Neither beer nor red wine were found to significantly increase the risk. By contrast, white wine drinkers’ risk of developing rosacea increased by 14 percent for those drinking one to three glasses a month, and up to 49 percent for those drinking five or more glasses a week, the study showed. The risk for liquor drinkers ranged from 8 to 28 percent depending on the amount consumed.
The researchers noted that white wine and liquor contain high concentrations of alcohol but lack the flavonoids and other anti-inflammatory substances found in red wine. Despite its anti-inflammatory properties, however, red wine also contains other substances, like histamine and resveratrol, that may contribute to flushing in patients who already have rosacea, the investigators wrote.
Exactly how or even if alcohol consumption increase rosacea risk is not know, but the investigators suggest that alcohol’s weakening of the immune system and widening of the blood vessels may contribute to the redness and flushing that occur when one develops the condition. They added that further research is also needed to shed more light on the connections between specific types of alcohol and rosacea.
In 2016, the National Rosacea Society awarded one of the study researchers $25,000 as part of its research grants program to increase knowledge and understanding of the causes and other key aspects of rosacea that may lead to improvements in its management, prevention or potential cure.