Skin rashes from drinking wine?

I'm relatively new to the wine scene, and I regularly drink (two, sometimes three) glasses of red wine almost every day. For the past six months or so, I have developed skin rashes on my lower neck and upper chest. I attribute this to my wine drinking and wonder if anyone else on this list has experienced a similar effect. Thanks for your attention
Original Post
quote:
Originally posted by ohtheHumanity:
(sulfites are not present in every wine. check the back of the label to make sure. its common in many "new world" wines.)


Sulphites are present in every wine to some extent. They are added to most wines as a preservative, but in fairly small quantities. As a general rule red wine contains significantly less sulphites than white wine since the tannins act as a preservative. You're more likely to get an allergic reaction to sulphites from eating dried fruit than drinking wine.
quote:
Originally posted by Dave Tong:
quote:
Originally posted by ohtheHumanity:
(sulfites are not present in every wine. check the back of the label to make sure. its common in many "new world" wines.)


Sulphites are present in every wine to some extent. They are added to most wines as a preservative, but in fairly small quantities. As a general rule red wine contains significantly less sulphites than white wine since the tannins act as a preservative. You're more likely to get an allergic reaction to sulphites from eating dried fruit than drinking wine.


Correct. The rash is more likely from the alcohol.
Rosacea is actually an enigmatic condition. It's response to Erythromycin leads many researchers to believe it is infectious/bacterial in origin. It is not caused by alcohol consumption. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/rosacea/DS00308
Some ethnicities do infact react to alcohol with swelling/puffiness and redness in localized areas. But, allergic reactions are typically mainfested systemically - all over, not localized as the original poster describes. I would just see a doctor. This may be a vital parte of their medical history and the precaution agains Sulfa drugs is warranted.

That is my opinon, but I'm just a doctor.
azprwb:

How dare you inject intelligent scientific information into a thread based upon rumor and speculation?

My guess: Chances are it's a reaction to something in the laundry detergent or softener. The neck is rubbed by the collar of the garment all day long, while the clothing tends to be flat against the torso.

Try a hypo-allergenic detergent, but do not eschew the wine.

Going to a dermatologist or allergist is not irrational. (Dermatology is a great specialty. There are hundreds of conditions and two or three creams)
I have at least 2 friends that have experienced the same from red wine. And one friend who is allergic to white.

The gals that are allergic to red attriibute it to the tannins or something in the coloring(that's not a medical diagnosis, of course). Oddly, they are also allergic to strawberry daqueries (sp?) and some other preserved red fruit products.

The gal that is allergic to white, attributes it to sulfites.
quote:
Originally posted by irwin:
azprwb:

How dare you inject intelligent scientific information into a thread based upon rumor and speculation?

My guess: Chances are it's a reaction to something in the laundry detergent or softener. The neck is rubbed by the collar of the garment all day long, while the clothing tends to be flat against the torso.

Try a hypo-allergenic detergent, but do not eschew the wine.

Going to a dermatologist or allergist is not irrational. (Dermatology is a great specialty. There are hundreds of conditions and two or three creams)


Thanks azprwb and Irwin for your "professional" diagnoses and recommendations. I had done all of these things before posting here: i.e. gone to my dermatologist (who, btw, agreed with azprwb: he did not think it was an allergy caused by wine because "allergic reactions are typically manifested systemically - all over, not localized").
I had also already done what Irwin prescribes: changed all our detergents, my body soaps, shampoos, etc, to hypo-allergenic products, on the advice of my dermatologist.
Nevertheless, through the process of elimination, I'm left with the conclusion that wine must be at fault in this case, because its regular consumption is the only addition I've made to my habits in the last 7 or 8 months.
As Irwin pointed out, the science of dermatology has its limitations. (As someone once said about dermatologists: "They can't cure you, but then again they can't kill you.")
So this is the reason I decided to post here: if indeed my allergy was caused by wine consumption I thought that surely some other oenophile on this board might have experienced it also.
I thank you all for your responses.
P.S. Screw the rashes. I'm enjoying my cabernets and barolos too much to stop drinking!
Histamines may not be the issue. Tyramine is an ingredient in win and other cured and aged foods such as cheeses that may cause similar reactions or life-threatiening ones - especially in peopl on older generation antidepressants andthe like.

Irwin, I agree, by all means do not eschew the wine....
Allergies are a much ampler topic than can be solved by "no drinking red".

Two remarks though:

- no sulphites, no wine. If you're allergic to (even small amounts of) sulphites, don't drink wine.

- test the grapes.
Just "allergic to red" is in many case not a definition.
My wife gets swollen eyes and rash from syrah/shiraz.
No problems with cabernet or pinot noir (although many people don't support burgundy, and that's not a political nor a budgetary remark) and she deals flawlessly with all the whites we know of.
well Dave, at least you were 95% right. There are some producers who remove all sulfites through filtration and sell a 100% sulfite free wine. Sulfites are a natural by-product of fermintation, so it is in all wines, but they can be removed.

That's better than Humanity, who was not only 100% wrong, but also had a few facts 100% backwards.
Miss Wine, if you say 5% of all wine producers filter the sulphites out of their wines, I do not believe you.

If, apart from the irony and the fooling around, information in this thread is wrong or misleading, then please share your wisdom.

About allergies and pseudo-allergies I know a thing or two and I know also that there is a lot of wrong and misleading information about it in the medical world.

Which doesn't mean of course that you shouldn't see a medic when you're ill.
less than 1/10 of 1% is more like the amount of wine that has sulfites removed, maybe even 1/1000 of 1%. The facility I make wine at is also home to the largest producer of sulfite free wine in the world. Organic Wine Works, they make about 40,000 case total.

ok, it will take me 15-20 minutes or so...but I'll put something together...
First of all most if not all bad reactions to wine are not allergic. A true allergic reaction involves an immune response to an allergen, usually a protien, these are very rare, more common are food intolerance, where someone has a reaction without the immune system being involved. Lactose intolerance is a well known example.

As far as likelyhood of a food allergy occuring vs some other trigger, in double blind placebo studies around 2% of the population have true food allergies. This compares to roughly 20% of people who self diagnose food allergies. This means if you think you have a food alergy, there is a roughly 1 in 10 chance you actually do.

Most medical allergy experts do not think adverse reactions to wine are true allergies. There was however a recent Italian study that identified two protiens in wine, endochitinase and a lipid transfer protien that did casue anaphylactic shock reactions. So there is some disagreement in the scientific community if wine allergies can be true allergies.

The most likely cause of the symptoms reported by this poster are ALDH deficiency. Acetaldehyde is a compound formed by the breakdown of alcohol in the liver by the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase. It's a toxic compound, and the one that causes hangovers. Most of the time it is broken down by aldehyde dehydrogenase (ALDH) into acetic acid. But, about 85% of east Asians (Chinese, Japanese and Koren) have a ALDH deficiency. Symptoms of ALDH deficiency are flushing when alcohol is consumed, primarly of the face and neck. This deficiency is fairly rare in non Asian populations.

Dave_Tong, Steven and Alice both have ALDH deficiency, Steven's seems worse than Alice, that's why he rarely has more than 1-2 glasses at our parties. See if you notice it next time you come by. For a long time he thought it was a red wine allergy, and avoided red wines.

Sulfites are present in all wines, unless removed through filtration. They are not more common in new world wines. They are most common in German Reisling's actually. Sulfite reactions cause asthma like symptoms. They are very rare, and studies have been inconclusive thus far on linking them to asthma attacks in wine drinking patients.

If you suspect you are having a sulfite reaction, you should do the test Dave_Tong mentioned. Many foods have much more sulfite than wine. Two pieces of processed white bread (wonder) have more sulfites than a glass of wine. Dried nuts and prepared salads are also very high. It is highly unlikely you have reached the age to consume red wine and would not have already been aware of a sulfite sensativity from other foods.

Histamine is widely considered to by the true culprit in most people. Red wine contains 0.6 to 4 grams per litre of histamine, whites far less. It's thought that patients intolerant to wine can not degrade histamine properly due to a deficiency of the enzyme diamine oxidase. A recent study though showed no correlation between histamine content and red wine intolerance. If you suspect histamine's are the cause you may want to try an anti-histamine before drinking red wine.

The bottom line, is we don't know why people sometimes have bad reactions to wine. I'll quote Dr Ewan from Addenbrooke Hospital, Cambridge: "The sensitivity to wine is thought to be due to the direct effects of various - poorly defined - chemical components of the wine."

It is likely a combination of factors. The best thing anyone can do is consult a doctor. Short of that they should take detailed notes on the conditions they had prior to the reaction. Location, food, type of wine, clothing and any other factor that may contribute, and see if they can establish a pattern that is causing their intolerance.
Just for the record, I did not say that alcohol causes rosacea. It does, however, aggravate a rosacea or pre-rosacea condition by dilating the blood vessels.

Per the link to the Mayo Clinic

<<
Although the exact cause of rosacea remains a mystery, a number of factors can aggravate it or make it worse by increasing blood flow to the surface of your skin. Some of these include:

* Hot foods or beverages
* Spicy foods
* Alcohol
* Temperature extremes
* Sunlight
* Stress, anger or embarrassment
* Strenuous exercise
* Hot baths, saunas
* Corticosteroids
* Drugs that dilate blood vessels, including some blood pressure medications>>

I confess that I am not a doctor, but I don't see any reason to rule out a mild pre-rosacea condition.

Just a comment, not an attempt at a diagnosis.
That's why I mentioned pseudo-allergies.

Normally allergies are "simple": eat strawberry, get a red and swollen head.

Pseudo-allergies are an interaction. With stress e.g. The reaction will normally not be instantaneous, not always as bad or even not always occuring.

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