ZocdocAnswersCan alcohol abuse lead to skin disorders?

Question

Can alcohol abuse lead to skin disorders?

My husband drinks alot and smokes cigars, chews dip etc. and has had 3 episodes of angular cheilitis this year and now has several boils on buttocks. Lab work a long time ago showed low neutrophil count. Curious if this can all be from alcohol and cigars or should he see someone for possible immune problem, staph?

Answer

That is an excellent question and one that is best answered by your husband's medical care professional such as a primary care doctor. It is very likely that smoking, chewing tobacco and alcohol abuse could have contributed to some of the skin disorders that you are describing. It is not clear from the history provided how old he is or what other medical problems he might have so in general, there are a few potential causes of these symptoms he is having. In some people, smoking and drinking can cause changes to skin tone, turgor and overall skin health and that may be part of what your husband is experiencing. The low neutrophil count is very concerning and your husband should also be followed up by a medicine doctor such as a hematologist who can perform diagnostic tests to elucidate the cause of these low neutrophil counts. Sometimes, in people who smoke too much, they can have an increased risk of some cancers and so there is some concern that your husband may have something based upon the limited history provided so it is important that he be examined and treated to rule out this potentially very serious condition.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.