Does Beer Cause Psoriasis?


A Harvard Medical School study published by the Archives of Dermatology indicates that drinking beer may increase the risk for woman to develop psoriasis, a painful skin disease which afflicts more than 7 million Americans.

Over 82,000 women participated in this study. Each woman described the amounts and types of alcohol they consumed and if they had been previously diagnosed with psoriasis.

  • Among the findings:
    1,150 cases of psoriasis developed, of which 1,069 were used for analysis.
  • Light beer, red and white wine, and liquor were not associated with psoriasis risk.
  • The risk of psoriasis was 72% greater among women who had an average of 2.3 drinks per week or more, compared to those who abstained from alcohol.
  • The risk of psoriasis was 2.3 times higher for women who drank five or more beers per week.

This study only showed that only non-light beers were the only alcoholic beverage that increased the risk for psoriasis, suggesting that certain non-alcoholic components of beer, which are not found in wine or liquor, may play an important role in new-onset psoriasis.

Barley may be to culprit. Barley and other starches contain gluten, a substance that some people with psoriasis are very sensitive to, the researchers say. Women with a high risk of psoriasis may consider avoiding higher intake of non-light beer.

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