Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a skin condition that causes several uncomfortable symptoms. Some people experience a flare-up in these symptoms when they eat certain foods. Trigger foods vary among people, and alcohol might exacerbate your eczema, which means that you may have to limit your intake or avoid liquor altogether.
Symptoms of eczema range in severity; you might go through periods where your skin is healthy and then experience periods where you're unable to get your symptoms under control. Many people battle the disorder on a daily basis. Common symptoms include discolored patches of skin; bumps on the affected area that may leak or become crusty; raw or cracked skin; and itching. Many treatment methods alleviate eczema, but making dietary changes is one way to reduce your symptoms. Alcohol isn't one of the most common food triggers of eczema, but it might be making your condition worse.
Determing Food Triggers
Eggs, milk, wheat and soy are foods that sometimes result in an eczema flare-up, but alcohol bothers some people as well. The best way to determine if alcohol is one of your eczema triggers is to keep a food diary. Record what you eat, how much you eat and any eczema symptoms that occur soon afterward. Keep the log for several weeks, which allows you and your doctor to find a pattern regarding foods or drinks that cause your symptoms to increase.
It's obvious that avoiding alcohol means eliminating beer, wine or spirits from your normal beverage intake. You might not realize that several other items may contain alcohol and consuming them could cause your eczema symptoms to flare. Meats cooked in wine, no-bake desserts and flambe are examples. Use nonalcoholic alternatives and be cautious when ordering foods in restaurants. If you drink a lot of alcohol and worry that you may have trouble quitting, contact your doctor about medications and other forms of treatment that could help you avoid it.
In some cases, oral allergy medications are prescribed to treat symptoms of eczema. If you're able to tolerate a small amount of alcohol, avoid having a drink at the same time that you take your medication. This could cause dangerous side effects. Follow the package directions regarding dosage and the safety of drinking liquor while on the medication.