Why Does My Face Turn Red When I Drink Alcohol?

Home » Why Does My Face Turn Red When I Drink Alcohol?

After having a few drinks, you may wonder “Why does my face turn red when I drink alcohol?” Consuming alcoholic drinks can cause several physical changes to a person, but is facial discoloration one of them? It can contribute to a reddening of part of the face but is not a reliable indicator of alcoholism. We explore what a red face has to do with alcohol abuse.

Why Does My Face Turn Red When I Drink Alcohol?

There are a few things to consider when wondering Why does my face turn red when I drink alcohol?” A strong possibility is that the person has a genetic condition that interferes with the body’s ability to metabolize alcohol. This can cause a person to develop symptoms similar to those that happen when a person has a cold. These symptoms include reddening of the face, watery eyes, and a runny nose. When this happens, it is classified as something called alcohol intolerance or alcohol flush reaction

A person who develops an alcohol flush reaction may also do so if they take medications that trigger it. This includes meds for diabetes, high cholesterol, and infections. Furthermore, someone who uses make-up and skin care products that dilate their blood vessels may mistake this for being alcohol-related if they also drink alcoholic beverages regularly.

Another cause could be if the individual has rosacea, a skin condition that affects approximately 14 million people. Rosacea happens most commonly among fair-skinned people in their 30s or 40s. This skin disease can be triggered by a few different things, including drinking alcohol and eating spicy foods. Stress and weather conditions, such as hot and cold temperatures and high wind can also bring on episodes of rosacea. 

Does Red Face From Drinking Alcohol Mean I’m an Alcoholic?

Someone who wonders “Why does my face turn red when I drink alcohol?” often feels embarrassed by this physical reaction. An old stereotype still prevails that someone with red facial skin, particularly on or around their nose, must be an alcoholic. The fact is that someone who develops red facial skin when drinking may be someone with an addiction to alcohol. However, the skin condition itself is not a typical indicator. Other signs of someone being an alcoholic are much more likely to occur. 

If the individual is questioning whether or not they have a drinking problem, it’s important to determine that regardless of dermatological concerns. An assessment by a physician or substance abuse counselor can help diagnose any addiction to alcohol. From there, a plan for treatment can be made. 

Woman wondering why does my face turn red when I drink alcohol

Are Red Spots From Drinking Alcohol Dangerous?

Knowing the answer to “Why does my face turn red when I drink alcohol?” usually leads to a second question. People wonder if reddening of the face constitutes a dangerous condition. If the person experiencing this has a genetic condition that impedes their ability to metabolize alcohol, continuing to drink can be dangerous. This is because it increases the person’s risk of different types of cancer, including esophageal and breast cancer. 

Anyone who experiences recurrent reddening of their face, whether they drink alcohol regularly or not, should consult a doctor. A dermatologist can help determine what is causing the condition and how to approach treating it. If the person has developed an alcohol use disorder, learning about it through a medical consultation for their skin can help them make the decision to get life-saving help. 

How to Get Rid of Red Face

If a person develops a red face when drinking alcohol, they have a few options to address it. If the individual has a genetic condition that causes an alcohol flush reaction, they need to stop drinking for their own health. As well, if reddening of the face happens to someone who is an alcoholic, obviously this will need to be addressed. In both cases, ceasing to drink alcohol will relieve the development of a red face. 

If a person gets a red face as a result of taking medications, this should be discussed with a physician. A doctor can discuss options for taking an alternative medication, as well as treat any lingering redness of the facial skin. If there is no alternative to the drug the person takes, a physician can recommend another medication, including some over-the-counter ones, that can help. These other drugs can either prevent red skin from developing or reduce the effects of flare-ups.

Begin Rehabilitation for Alcohol Addiction in Los Angeles, CA

Now that you know the answer to “Why does my face turn red when I drink alcohol?”, you can find the help you deserve. Zenith Behavioral Health provides a well-rounded treatment program for those who want to overcome an alcohol use disorder. Our residential program offers a comfortable homelike environment that serves as a retreat while getting well. Our skilled medical staff supervises the detox from alcohol process and offers relief from many withdrawal symptoms. 

Would you like more information about getting help for alcohol addiction? If so, please visit our admissions page now. See how easy it is to regain control of your life as a sober person.