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Alcohol and Skin Disease

Can Alcohol Use Affect Skin Disease?

Previous studies have identified an association between heavy alcohol use and psoriasis, but the association with other skin diseases is not as clear. A recent study looked at heavy alcohol use and whether there were associations with other inflammatory skin diseases.

Using a cross-sectional observational design, the study recruited participants with inflammatory skin diseases such psoriasis, eczema, or cutaneous lupus or other inflammatory disorders, and a reference group with noninflammatory skin diseases (mainly skin lesions). Participants in both groups completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT) to determine the prevalence of heavy drinking in the study group.

The results showed that overall, 27% of all the patients met the criteria for an Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). There was a higher prevalence of AUDs in all the inflammatory groups combined in comparison with the noninflammatory group; patients with eczema had the highest prevalence of AUD (33%).

The authors note that this finding is significant because dermatologists have not previously linked alcohol behavior to patients with eczema. Systemic drugs intended to treat eczema, such as azathioprine and methotrexate, may be contraindicated with alcohol consumption, so this is an important area of awareness when working with patients. The authors also state that the data on alcohol and eczema greatly expands the number of patients whose skin disease severity may be influenced by alcohol use.
Byline: Martha L. Sikes, MS, RPh, PA-C

Posted: October 9, 2017

Source: Wiley Online
Adapted from the original article.

[Image: Shutterstock]

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