Patients often complain to me that their favorite wine turns their cheeks and nose red, so what’s going on here? It is actually very simple: anything that increases the amount of blood in your skin is going to make your skin redder.
We have normal blood vessels in the middle layer of the skin called the dermis and alcohol acts as a drug vasodilate to expand those blood vessels putting more blood into them and making your skin redder. As to how red your skin will get from drinking wine depends on three different things.
First, how red your skin is to start with, meaning how large are the blood vessels. Do you have a rosy complexion or do you have a pale sallow complexion?
Second, how sensitive are your blood vessels to the effects of the drug alcohol? How much do they respond, how much do they enlarge from the alcohol?
Third, it’s strictly a matter of dose: how much alcohol are you drinking? Is it 12 – 14% alcohol like in wine, 4 – 5% alcohol like in beer or 40% or more like in hard spirits?
So as to how red your face will get from drinking wine depends on all of those factors, but the good news is by the next morning the red is gone, the tired is gone, and you are ready to start a new day.
On a more personal level, wine is most near and dear to my heart as I am sure it is to Gary Vaynerchuk the host of the daily internet wine show WinelibraryTV which was part of the inspiration for DermTV. [Dr. Schultz lifts his glass of wine.] So Gary, here’s to you!