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Alcohol consumption increases rosacea risk in women

Women who are concerned about the health of their skin may want to think twice the next time they reach for a chardonnay or a Cosmo.

According to new research published online in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, increased consumption of alcohol, particularly white wine and liquor, is associated with a higher risk of rosacea in women.

“Drinking alcohol has a number of effects on your body that can impact your skin,” says board-certified dermatologist and study 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.”

Rosacea, a skin disease that causes redness and flushing on the face and neck, affects approximately 16 million Americans. To examine this condition’s connection to alcohol consumption, the study authors reviewed data collected from 82,737 women via the Nurses’ Health Study II. Over the 14-year period from 1991 to 2005, there were 4,945 cases of rosacea in the study population.

The research, led by Wen-Qing Li, an assistant professor of dermatology at Brown University, found that women who drank alcohol had an elevated risk of developing rosacea, and that risk increased as their alcohol consumption increased. In examining the risk associated with specific types of alcohol, the researchers found that white wine and liquor were significantly associated with a higher rosacea risk.

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