Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does drinking beer make acne worse?"
As a woman in her late 20s who has been fighting acne for 10 years, I try to be very careful with my skin. Lately, it seems like going out drinking with my friends makes my acne flares up the next day. Am I just imagining this, or can beer actually cause acne?
Acne is certainly a complex skin condition. Every patient is a little different in what their acne seems to fair up from, so predicting your particular situation is difficult. Your primary care doctor may have some suggestions in line with you past medical history and I would advise that you bring this association up with him or her. If your acne is severe enough, he or she may refer you to a dermatologist who can employ more aggressive therapies. With a few exceptions acne is not greatly effected by diet. We used to be told growing up that chocolate or eating a high fat diet would cause acne. That turns out not to be true. However, having a very high sugar diet has been associated with acne, and beer certainly does have a lot of sugars in it. However, it would be quite unusual to react after a night of drinking (usually associated with prolonged high sugar diet). Alcohol has not been associated with worsening acne. Acne is caused the blocking of hair follicles with a skin molecule called keratin. Later, glands secrete substances that allow for bacteria to grow causing the skin to develop comedones (pimples). There are a variety of ways to treat acne depending on its severity. Remember, it is a treatable disease. Good luck.
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