Drinking white wine can increase your risk of rosacea, new study shows

Well over 16 million Americans suffer from rosacea. Many people don’t even realize they have the skin disorder, which primarily occurs on the face.

Although it is not physically harmful, rosacea has been linked to an increased risk of cancers such as thyroid cancer and basal cell carcinoma as well as disorders such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and celiac diseases.

In addition, the acne-like, rough red skin causes more than 90 percent of those affected to have lower self-esteem; 41 percent avoid public contact or cancel social engagements because of the condition.

Currently, there is no cure for rosacea, although treatment can reduce or diminish the symptoms. In addition, learning about potential triggers can help people avoid the life-altering condition.

For instance, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology shows that alcohol might play a part in the development of rosacea in women. Researchers studied the habits of 82,737 participants and found that those who drank some types of alcohol had a higher risk of developing rosacea than those who didn’t drink. The more alcohol consumed, the greater the risk.

But, the type of alcohol definitely makes a difference. While beer and red wine drinkers actually did not experience an increased risk, liquor drinkers had an increased risk of between 8 and 28 percent, depending on the amount consumed.

The real bad news comes for white wine lovers, though: It turns out drinking white wine significantly increased study participants’ risk of rosacea. In fact, drinking five or more glasses a week elevated their risk by 49 percent. This is more bad news for white wine drinkers, after a study last year found that drinking white wine also raises melanoma risk.

Researchers noted that further research is required to determine this connection. They suggest that because alcohol weakens the immune system and widens blood vessels, it may contribute to redness once someone develops rosacea.

The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases states that other risks for rosacea include being a woman (especially during menopause), having fair skin and being between the ages of 30 and 60.

Triggers that can worsen the condition include:

  • Cold temperatures
  • Heat
  • Heavy exercise
  • Hot or spicy foods and beverages
  • Long-term steroid use on the face
  • Menopause
  • Stress
  • Sunlight
  • Wind

If you think you may have rosacea, see a dermatologist or talk to your primary care provider.