Beer Could Bring On Psoriasis

Enjoy drinking a cold beer on a regular basis? Keep an eye on your skin. New research shows that imbibing a few brews each week can increase your chances of developing psoriasis.

The connection between beer and this uncomfortable, unsightly skin disease may not be obvious, but a study published in the Archives of Dermatology reveals a surprising link.

A team of researchers from Harvard and Brigham and Women's Hospital reviewed the medical data and alcohol intake of over 80,000 women, more than 1,000 of whom had developed psoriasis in the years since the research program started in 1991. Analysis led to the determination that women who drink at least five beers per week are more than twice as likely to develop psoriasis compared to those who don't.

"Certain non-alcoholic components of beer, which are not found in wine or liquor, may play an important role in new-onset psoriasis," the study authors explain. "One of these components may be the starch source used in making beer."

That starch is probably barley, which contains gluten, a substance that can aggravate psoriasis.

So, what's a beer-loving lady to do? Switch to a light brew.

"Non-light beer was the only alcoholic beverage that increased the risk for psoriasis," the researchers write. No connection between light beer and psoriasis could be found.