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Can Alcohol Consumption Lead To Psoriasis – Understanding The Connection

Alcohol consumption is known to be bad for health and vitality of an individual. Till recent times, the focus was primarily on the ill effects of drinking leading to improper functioning and damage of various internal organs of the body. However, it has now been revealed that alcoholism can also lead to major skin disorders, and specially help in enhancing the skin aliment of psoriasis.  While people suffering from the ailment can still have that occasional drink or two, they are generally advised against drinking too much on a regular basis, as it can deeply affect their condition and medication in a negative manner. Before understanding the connection between alcohol and psoriasis, it is important to gain a basic understanding about the disease itself.

What Is Psoriasis?

In medical terms, psoriasis is defined as a chronic inflammatory autoimmune condition wherein the immune system tends to cause the skin cells to reproduce too quickly. For a normal individual, the skin cells generally reproduce after every 28 to 30 days. However, in case of an individual suffering from psoriasis, the skin cells reproduce after every 3 to 4 days, which is 6-7 times faster than normal. The symptoms of the disease include appearance of thickened, red, scaly and itchy skin patches on the body. This is because the new skin reproduced rises to the surface even before the old skin has been shed off by the body.

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Despite extensive research, doctors have not been successful in establishing the true causes of psoriasis. However, genetic conditions are believed to likely play an important part in propagating the ailment. It has been established that the condition might become worse, when the patients are exposed to certain stimuli, alcohol being one of them. The disease is known to mostly affect people between the age groups of 20 to 30 and 50 to 60 years, although individuals outside these age groups can also develop the ailment. It has also been observed that the ailment affects both males and females almost equally, and more than 30 % of the people suffering from the condition are known to be suffering from psoriatic arthritis.

How Drinking Alcohol Effects Psoriasis?

Drinking alcohol is known to affect patients suffering from psoriasis in the following ways.

Flare Up The Condition: Most patients have reported a flare up in their condition after they consume alcohol. It is believed that alcohol consumption increases the production of inflammatory cytokines and cell cycle activators, which further enhances the speed of skin cell regeneration, deteriorating the condition of the patients further.

Cause Skin Dryness: The diuretic nature of alcohol makes it suck out moisture from the skin, leaving it parched and dehydrated. This further boosts the creation of, dry flaky skin that is already an integral aspect of psoriasis. As such it is important for the patients to regularly moisturize their skin and abstain from drinking too much alcohol.

Reduce The Response To Medication: Alcohol consumption slows down the effect of medication taken by patients for treating psoriasis. In some cases, alcohol consumption can even prevent the drugs from working at all, leaving the patients completely defenseless against the condition. With excessive alcoholism, the condition is sure to worsen further as the immunity provided by medication will become useless.

A Piece Of Good News

It has been observed that the type of drink being consumed also affects the condition greatly. Recent study has shown that the condition of patients who consume light beer, white and red wine and even liquor is minimally affected. However, in case of patients consuming non-light beer and other hard drinks the risk of psoriasis development and enhancement is almost doubled. Hence, it comes to the choice of drinks made by the individuals that determines how bad the habit can prove for them.

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