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"Can you please help with my severely blotchy red skin?"

ZocdocAnswersCan you please help with my severely blotchy red skin?


I am a white 22 year old and just the past few years I have been getting severe blotchy red face neck and shoulders (not itchy at all just really hot and red) whenever I drink anything... I have researched and all I can come up wit is Asian flush or alcohol flush reaction and I have been researching for days, and the only things I can come up with to prevent this emberassing symptom is either the "No Red Face formula", "Eredicane", or taking Pepcid AC. Which of these should I invest money in... if any.. Is this diagnosis even sounding like it's what I have?


It does sound like you may be experiencing the alcohol flush reaction, though you should discuss this issue with your primary care doctor to confirm. This is a condition that occurs in a wide range of people, although you are right that it is more common in some Asian populations. Basically what occurs in this condition is that there is a buildup of a chemical called acetaldehyde, which is a byproduct of your body digesting alcohol. This buildup can occur either because you have an overactive enzyme converting the alcohol to acetaldehyde or because you have an under active detoxifying enzyme that removes the acetaldehyde from the body. Either way, the end effect is acetaldehyde circulating in the blood stream after ingesting alcohol. Unfortunately, there is no treatment for the alcohol flush reaction. The various treatments that you may read about on the internet are just anecdotal, and are not supported by scientific evidence. The only effective treatment for the alcohol flush reaction is to avoid ingesting alcohol. Since acetaldehyde is a carcinogen (cancer provoking substance), avoiding excess ingestion of alcohol, and avoiding the alcohol flush reaction, is important. Discuss this issue with your primary care doctor to confirm the diagnosis and also to get more information and advice on the condition.

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