Skin Rash or Hives with Red Wine

by John

After reading through the skin rash pages on this site, I thought I would make a contribution. My skin rash develops when I consume red wine. At first, drinking red wine led to my fingers getting really red and hot. A few years later, drinking red wine would cause hives to develop on my face first and then all over my body. The funny thing is that it would not happen all the time and not limited to just red wine. It would happen with white wine, beer, or any other alcoholic beverage. If I continue to drink the beverage the rash eventually subsides. The condition never proceeds to a more serious allergic reaction such as difficulty breathing.

I have tried to isolate the problem. Since it sometimes happens when drinking alcohol and sometimes not, perhaps it was alcohol in combination with food that is the culprit. I first though it was cheese and then tomato sauce, but no consistent pattern was evident. I still do not know why it happens sometimes and other times not.

The only trend that I believe is more consistent is my body temperature. If I am hot or under stress, then drinking alcohol, especially wine or beer, causes the all over body rash or hives.

Does anyone else out there have a similar problem and have you found a solution?

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Apr 09, 2017
Rashes all over Body
by: Anonymous

I recently discovered that the itchy rashes/hives I have had for the last six months on my legs, arms, and torso were from drinking wine. I went to a dermatologist who thought it was an allergic reaction. At 43 years of age, I have never had problems with wine, except for an occasional red face from the sulfites. I decided to stop drinking my one small glass a night to see if that was the culprit. Within a week, some of the rashes are half way healed, and the others are mostly healed. So strange, but so glad not to be itching. It was horrible!

Jul 29, 2014
A Treatment Option
by: Anonymous

I have the same issue with red wine and a Benadryl and some Cortizone-10 mixed with my face cream usually helps.

Jun 12, 2013
Same Symptoms but with White Wine
by: Anonymous

Although I don't have a solution, I felt I should share my experience with this matter. I drink wine 'all the time' and every once in a while I'll get really hot and red blotchy patches all over my face, neck, and back, usually with white wine and usually after three glasses. It is never consistent in the sense that it will happen less than 30% of the times that I drink but I recently came to realize it was happening most frequently IF or WHEN I drank more than one night in a row, for example on my last two vacations when I have been drinking more heavily. I was wondering if it could be a possible symptom of liver toxicity?

Dec 27, 2011
Hives on Face with Drinking Only Sometimes
by: Anonymous

I have the same problem. It started about five years ago and has happened only about four or five times. It usually happens when drinking wine (but I only drink white) but this skin hives problem has happened with other alcohol as well and just randomly. I have noticed that I am always hot before it happens then my ear is on fire and then my cheeks and then I have hives all over my face and neck and sometimes shoulders. The hives do not itch and my skin just feels really hot! This just happened to me last weekend after two sips of wine but other times I drink the same wine and I am fine. This is really wierd!

So I thought the same as you about food combinations with the drink but now I am thinking hormones. I am going to keep track of this now because I just finished my last pill in my cycle for the month. It makes me so nervous because I never know when it is going to happen. It takes a few hours for the skin hives that appear with drinking to go away but I took Benadryl allergy this time and the skin hives went away even quicker! I hope we find some answers!

Jun 23, 2011
Tiny Bumps On Cheeks and Neck
by: Anonymous

I have been having this problem for a few years now. I get all of these tiny little bumps mainly on the side of my cheeks and running down my neck.

I have noticed that this mainly flares up when I drink red wine but last night I had been drinking red (shirz) and it was out of control.

I am wondering if it could be the type of red that you drink that causes it to sometimes happen and then other times not?

I have been stressed recently so it could also be a contribution too.

Jan 10, 2010
Something Similar
by: Anonymous

I was just reading your story and it sounds very similar to my own. I am 34 and this year I developed these little bumps on my face, particularly noticeable on my forehead (its limited to my face). I have slowly developed quite sensitive skin as I have gotten older and can't use fake tan, smelly moisturisers and scented creams, etc. The beautician I saw advised me that I have stage 1 rosacea (as I also suddenly developed some acne on my chin line)... but she has cleared this up. I have spent the last six months trying to figure out what my skin problem is. At one point I woke up after a night of drinking red wine and the bumps were really bad, so I investigated being allergic to high histamine foods. I have since drunk more wine, eaten prawns, strawberries and they have not suddenly appeared worse.

I have been on holiday from work for a few weeks and although my skin did not clear up 100% it was remarkably better, since returning to work, by 10:30 the bumps on my face re-appear. Overnight they calm down and I am bump free when I wake up in the morning. I started to wonder is it coffee? Is it muslie/oats I have for breakfast?

The bumps are hive like bumps and they don't itch really badly but I guess my skin feels a little prickly as they magically appear each morning. I actually think that it is stress related. I am not highly stressed in my job but I study part time too so my stress is higher than usual and I have been getting anxious. I know this because I get the sensation sometimes that I can't breathe properly and I take deep breaths and sigh a lot. I googled it and it is likely anxiety.

I do not know if this helps you at all but its what I am going through and really probably should get to the doctor/dermatologist, etc. (but these things are not cheap)....

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