Alcohol and Skin Disorders

With a Focus on Psoriasis

Natalia Kazakevich, MD; Megan N. Moody, MD, MPH; Jennifer M. Landau, BS; Leonard H. Goldberg, MD


Skin Therapy Letter. 2011;16(4) 

In This Article

Physiology of Alcohol Induced Toxicity

Alcohol induces a wide range of physiological derangements in the human body. Alcohol is cytotoxic to the liver, leading to alcoholic steatosis, hepatitis and, at later stages, cirrhosis1 with systemic sequelae. Alcohol is also toxic to the bone marrow, particularly the T cells, which in turn leads to attenuated immune function.[2–4] The cardiovascular system may also be adversely affected by excess alcohol use. Specifically, high output cardiac failure, hypertension, and peripheral vasodilatation may be consequences of chronic and acute alcohol intake.[2,5] Finally, alcohol misuse results in a myriad of nutritional deficiencies, including vitamin and trace element deficiencies[2,5] secondary to interference with proper intestinal absorption and poor nutrition. All of these physiological conditions can contribute to the development of cutaneous manifestations associated with alcohol consumption.


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