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Alcohol and Health

Psoriasis and Alcohol: How Drinking Affects Your Symptoms

August 3, 2023
7 min read
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Written by
Reframe Content Team
A team of researchers and psychologists who specialize in behavioral health and neuroscience. This group collaborates to produce insightful and evidence-based content.
August 3, 2023
7 min read
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Certified recovery coach specialized in helping everyone redefine their relationship with alcohol. His approach in coaching focuses on habit formation and addressing the stress in our lives.
August 3, 2023
7 min read
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Recognized by Fortune and Fast Company as a top innovator shaping the future of health and known for his pivotal role in helping individuals change their relationship with alcohol.
August 3, 2023
7 min read
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Reframe Content Team
August 3, 2023
7 min read

Ahh … it’s Friday evening. The work week has come to a close, and we’re ready to loosen our ties, kick off our shoes, and enjoy the weekend. We might find ourselves at a gathering with friends, clutching our glasses, our ears filled with laughter, our hearts buoyed by camaraderie. But even amid the merriment, we can’t escape a gnawing question: "What effect will this drink have on my psoriasis symptoms?"

It’s a question that resonates deeply with many people living with psoriasis. And the truth can hurt — because whether it’s a pint of beer on a warm summer's evening, a glass of rich red wine with a steak dinner, or an exotic cocktail at a weekend party, alcohol has the potential to influence psoriasis symptoms.

The Connection Between Psoriasis and Alcohol

A lady looking at her psoriasis in the mirror

Before we delve into the heart of the matter, let's take a moment to understand the nature of psoriasis. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease: our immune system erroneously attacks the healthy cells in our bodies. In the specific case of psoriasis, this unwarranted attack triggers the rapid buildup of skin cells. This leads to the formation of scaly, red patches that are often itchy and uncomfortable.

A number of studies have begun exploring potential connections between alcohol consumption and psoriasis. And what they've found is both intriguing and significant. One pivotal study underscored a strong association between the regular intake of alcohol and the onset of psoriasis. In fact, alcohol may not just be a silent bystander — it may play an active role, heightening the severity of the disease and influencing its progression.

Breaking Down the Impact of Alcohol on Psoriasis

How does alcohol aggravate psoriasis symptoms? Let's demystify this complex interaction.

Alcohol is known to exert immunomodulatory effects. This means that it can influence various components of our immune system, potentially triggering psoriasis flare-ups. Alcohol may stimulate the proliferation of keratinocytes — the cells that are overproduced in psoriasis, contributing to the skin's scaly appearance.

Additionally, alcohol can serve as a significant roadblock to the effectiveness of psoriasis treatments. It can interfere with how our bodies metabolize drugs, reducing their therapeutic effectiveness. Furthermore, regular alcohol consumption can impact treatment adherence, potentially limiting the overall success of our strategies to manage psoriasis.

It's important to remember that excessive alcohol consumption doesn't just impact our skin — it can have far-reaching effects on our overall health. Conditions like liver disease and cardiovascular disease, for which people with psoriasis are already at an elevated risk, can be exacerbated by heavy drinking.

Making Informed Decisions About Drinking

The aim here isn't to advocate for a life of total abstinence from alcohol. Life, after all, is a journey of balance and moderation. However, what's crucial is that we make informed decisions about our health and wellness. If we live with psoriasis and enjoy an occasional drink, it's important to have open, candid conversations with our healthcare providers about what levels of alcohol consumption may be safe for us.

These professionals can provide invaluable guidance on what amount of alcohol, if any, is acceptable for us. They can also share tips and strategies on how to manage our symptoms effectively. It may even be worth exploring non-alcoholic alternatives or considering ways to gradually reduce our alcohol intake.

Taking Control of Our Psoriasis Journey

Life with psoriasis can, at times, present significant challenges. Balancing our social activities, personal life, and the need to manage our psoriasis symptoms is no small feat. However, being aware of how certain lifestyle factors, like alcohol, can impact our psoriasis gives us the power to make informed choices. And these choices can help us maintain a good quality of life, even while living with psoriasis.

Ultimately, managing psoriasis extends beyond mere skincare. It's about embracing a holistic approach to wellness, making choices that let us live our lives to the fullest. It's also about savoring that Friday evening, knowing that we have made decisions that are not just pleasing in the moment, but are also beneficial for our long-term health.

Unlock Optimal Well-Being With Reframe

Although it isn’t a treatment for alcohol use disorder (AUD), the Reframe app can help you cut back on drinking gradually, with the science-backed knowledge to empower you 100% of the way. Our proven program has helped millions of people around the world drink less and live more. And we want to help you get there, too!

The Reframe app equips you with the knowledge and skills you need to not only survive drinking less, but to thrive while you navigate the journey. Our daily research-backed readings teach you the neuroscience of alcohol, and our in-app Toolkit provides the resources and activities you need to navigate each challenge.

You’ll meet millions of fellow Reframers in our 24/7 Forum chat and daily Zoom check-in meetings. Receive encouragement from people worldwide who know exactly what you’re going through! You’ll also have the opportunity to connect with our licensed Reframe coaches for more personalized guidance.

Plus, we’re always introducing new features to optimize your in-app experience. We recently launched our in-app chatbot, Melody, powered by the world’s most powerful AI technology. Melody is here to help as you adjust to a life with less (or no) alcohol.

And that’s not all! Every month, we launch fun challenges, like Dry/Damp January, Mental Health May, and Outdoorsy June. You won’t want to miss out on the chance to participate alongside fellow Reframers (or solo if that’s more your thing!).

The Reframe app is free for 7 days, so you don’t have anything to lose by trying it. Are you ready to feel empowered and discover life beyond alcohol? Then download our app through the App Store or Google Play today!

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At Reframe, we do science, not stigma. We base our articles on the latest peer-reviewed research in psychology, neuroscience, and behavioral science. We follow the Reframe Content Creation Guidelines, to ensure that we share accurate and actionable information with our readers. This aids them in making informed decisions on their wellness journey.
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