Female Wine Lovers, Beware! White Wine May Raise Your Risk for Rosacea

If you are someone who loves drinking white wine, then this news is for you. A new study claims to have found a potential link between white wine and significantly increased risk of rosacea in women.

Conventional wisdom has suggested that red wine can trigger or aggravate rosacea flare-ups in some women. The new study now hints even white wine could be a potential reason women may develop this chronic skin condition.

Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that causes redness and swollen, pus-filled pimples on nose, cheeks, chin, and forehead. While the firm cause of rosacea is still unknown, the condition worsens with time if left untreated.

The current study results now show, consumption of alcohol, especially white wine and liquor, can heighten risk of developing rosacea as well as cause the skin condition to flare up.

“Drinking alcohol has a number of effects on your body that can impact your skin,” says board-certified dermatologist and study co-author Abrar A. Qureshi, MD, MPH, FAAD, chair of the department of dermatology at Brown University in Providence, R.I. “While alcohol has been linked to a variety of skin disorders, including psoriasis and acne, our research suggests that it’s also associated with the development of rosacea in women.”

In order to determine a potential link between white wine consumption and the development of rosacea, the study’s senior author Wen-Qing Li, who is an assistant professor of dermatology and epidemiology at Brown University, and colleagues evaluated a total of 82,737 women enrolled in the Nurses’ Health Study II from 1991 to 2005.

Over the 14-year period, the researchers identified 4,945 cases of rosacea in the study subjects. The team learned that women who drank one to three glasses of white wine a month had a 14 percent increase in the risk of developing the skin disease, while those who consumed five or more glasses a week upped their chances of contracting the condition by a whopping 49 percent.

When investigators focused on liquor and red wine consumption, they found liquor consumption was linked to an 8 to 28 percent (five or more drinks a week) elevated risk of developing rosacea, while, surprisingly, red wine did not appear to be a significant trigger for its development.

The authors note that white wine and liquor increase rosacea risk because these beverages contain high concentrations of alcohol without the flavonoids and other anti-inflammatory substances which are commonly found in red wine.

“Our research contributes to the sizable body of evidence that demonstrates alcohol’s harmful effects on the body, including the skin,” Dr. Qureshi noted. “Science has identified many factors that may potentially cause rosacea, and our study indicates that alcohol may be one of them.”

“Women who wish to maintain the health of their skin — and their overall health — should limit their alcohol consumption,” he concluded. “Those who believe they have rosacea should see a board-certified dermatologist for the proper diagnosis and treatment.”

The research appears in the online issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.