While some people may enjoy a drink or two as a way to lift their spirits or relax and unwind, many rosacea patients find that alcohol simply adds to their stress level by causing an outbreak of signs and symptoms.
Alcohol is a rosacea trigger for nearly 76 percent of those responding to a new National Rosacea Society survey of 353 rosacea patients, and red wine is by far the most likely to trigger a flare-up. More than 72 percent of the survey respondents said red wine had caused their rosacea to flare up, followed by white wine, cited by 49 percent, and beer, named by 42 percent.
Other types of alcoholic beverages that were named as rosacea triggers included vodka, mentioned by 28 percent; champagne, cited by 25 percent; whiskey and rum, both named by 22 percent; tequila, 20 percent; liqueurs, 17 percent; and malt liquor, 11 percent.
It doesn't usually take much to bring on signs of a flare-up, according to the survey results. Thirty-one percent of the respondents said it takes one drink to trigger an outbreak, while the same percentage said it takes only half a drink and 15 percent said it takes only a sip or two. Twenty-one percent reported they can drink two drinks before triggering a flare-up, and 12 percent said it takes more than two.
Most respondents (76 percent) reported an immediate onset of symptoms, but 10 percent said the outbreak is not apparent until later that day and 14 percent said the flare-up begins the next day.
The majority of those answering the survey said they avoid or limit their intake of alcohol because of their rosacea, although some said they have determined which spirits cause an outbreak and steer clear of only those particular types. More than three-quarters of those who said they avoid or curtail their alcohol consumption reported that this has helped to reduce their rosacea flare-ups.