An allergic rash to alcohol typically occurs as an allergy to one of the ingredients present in certain types of alcohol or substances that alcohol is combined with in cocktails.
Inability to metabolize alcohol can result to flushing that strikingly resembles a rash especially in some ethnic groups. Since allergic reactions often worsen with continuous exposure, a doctor should be consulted for testing if a rash arises after consuming alcoholic beverages.
What is alcohol intolerance?
Alcohol intolerance can result to facial flushing along with nasal congestion that is like an allergic rash. It is common among Asians and develops once the individual lacks a specific enzyme – aldehyde dehydrogenase. This helps break down the toxins present in alcohol.
In some cases, nausea and vomiting as well as a rapid, pounding heartbeat can occur. This form of alcohol intolerance is usually genetic. In addition, the histamines which form due to the fermentation or brewing processes can also trigger a reaction.
What are the potential allergens?
Individuals who are allergic to grains utilized to produce alcohol such as hops, grapes, barley, wheat or rye or even sulfites that are used as preservatives in wines can trigger allergic reactions among those who consumed the beverages. The combinations that include tonic water or juice can also trigger an allergic rash.
Management of an allergic rash
Whether the individual ends up with an allergic rash or facial flushing from alcohol intolerance, avoidance of alcohol or substances that the individual is allergic to is vital.
If highly sensitive to a specific variant of alcohol, the individual might be able to consume other forms but if the intolerance is genetic, even a trace quantity of any alcohol can trigger a reaction.
Antihistamines can be given to lessen the symptoms of a minor allergic response, but severe reactions necessitate an injectable epinephrine to be on hand always.