Alcohol Allergies: Symptoms, Signs, and Treatment for Reactions

These antibodies trigger a release of histamines, causing red and itchy skin. Unfortunately, if the body can’t effectively process and break down these histamines, it creates a buildup, which can cause these uncomfortable skin conditions, he explains. An alcohol allergy is when your body reacts to alcohol as if it’s a harmful intruder and makes antibodies that try to fight it off.

If you experience flushing of the face after consuming an alcoholic beverage, there is a chance that alcohol is causing your hives. You can consult with a doctor, who can review your symptoms and perform an ethanol patch test to detect an allergic reaction to alcohol. Some people who drink alcohol experience an unpleasant phenomenon called the alcohol flush reaction. The primary feature of the alcohol flush reaction is a red face—or flush—but it can also be accompanied by hives, nausea, low blood pressure, the worsening of asthma, or an episode of migraine. Of particular significance, the alcohol flush reaction is linked to a higher risk of certain types of cancer. Wheat, barley, and rye are three grains used to make beer and other alcoholic beverages.

Alcoholism Resources

☝️TIP☝️ Discover your genetic predisposition to alcohol intolerance (and lactose/gluten intolerance) with the Atlas DNA Test. Alcohol induces vasodilation and facial flushing in people who have rosacea. However, alcohol is not the cause of the skin disease in most people. All of these skin conditions may occur without any history of alcohol abuse. Chronic alcoholic liver disease may lead to reddening of palmar skin.

  • And the condition does not increase your blood alcohol level, either.
  • Most people who have a reaction to alcohol aren’t allergic to it.

The effects of alcohol on the body, as a central nervous system depressant, are hardly beneficial. In addition to physical and mental impairment, flushed skin, nausea, and headaches are typical bodily reactions to alcohol consumption. These symptoms lead many to misdiagnose themselves with an alcohol allergy – instead of an intolerance to ingredients within alcohol. For individuals carrying gene variations that impair alcohol metabolism, the best way to prevent alcohol flush reaction is to avoid drinking or to limit alcohol intake. In fact, hindering alcohol flushing elevates the risk of cancer by enabling higher levels of alcohol consumption and thus higher acetaldehyde production.

Avoid alcohol if you have an allergy to grains or other foods.

Diarrhea happens as a result of alcohol consumption because it inhibits the absorption of water in the large intestine, leading to quicker stool passage. People often call alcohol intolerance an alcohol allergy, and vice versa. People who have a true alcohol allergy should avoid drinking alcohol entirely.

  • While facial flushing may carry on for a few minutes, severe alcohol intolerance with symptoms such as major headaches may last for one to two hours or more after alcohol consumption.
  • DermNet does not provide an online consultation service.If you have any concerns with your skin or its treatment, see a dermatologist for advice.
  • People with both asthma and an alcohol allergy may find that their respiratory symptoms worsen when they drink.
  • Unfortunately, nothing can prevent reactions to alcohol or ingredients in alcoholic beverages.
  • The only way to prevent these uncomfortable reactions is to avoid alcohol.

According to a 2010 study published in BMC Evolutionary Biology, the gene change responsible for ALDH2 deficiency is linked to the domestication of rice in southern China several centuries ago. If your body can’t do this well enough, you will have a reaction. However, certain food groups also have benefits when it comes to helping with the discomfort of withdrawal symptoms and detoxification.


Avoid the beverage or beverages that seem to cause your reaction until your doctor’s appointment. Anaphylaxis is a life threatening condition that involves can you be allergic to alcohol a series of symptoms, such as a rash, low pulse, and shock. If you or a loved one is ready to overcome an alcohol addiction, reach out today.

Lascia un commento

Il tuo indirizzo email non sarà pubblicato. I campi obbligatori sono contrassegnati *