This is the why some people turn red when they drink alcohol

Have you ever been at the pub or at a friend’s house and seen someone’s face turn red after drinking alcohol?

Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 09:37 am
Updated Wednesday, 13th February 2019, 09:42 am
This is why some people turn red while drinking alcohol (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

It’s not because they’re too hot or they’ve got a bit embarrassed, it’s actually because of a common condition. 

‘Alcohol flush’ can lead to some people experiencing a warm, red flush on their cheeks and skin when they drink alcohol or even feel itchy and nauseous. 

This is why some people turn red while drinking alcohol (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

So, while the rest of us simply have to deal with the many other negative sides of drinking alcohol, including the impact on our long-term health and the inevitable short-term hangover, sufferers have different worries altogether. 

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

People who suffer with alcohol flush can experience a rapid heartbeat, headaches, nausea, dizziness or even vomiting after drinking alcohol. 

And there’s a slightly unusual reason for this. 

According to Evergreen Life, when you drink alcohol your body produces enzymes known as aldehyde dehydrogenase. 

These convert the toxins produced from the oxidisation of the alcohol, known as acetaldehyde, into harmless acids. 

For most people, this is how the body gets rid of the harmful acetaldehyde, but unfortunately not for people who suffer from alcohol flush reaction. 

Some people do not produce efficient enzymes meaning that the acetaldehyde toxins don’t get processed quickly and remain in the body for longer. 

As these toxins are poisonous, this explains why the body reacts by turning your skin red. 

There are some people that are more susceptible to this, including people of Japanese, Chinese and Korean descent. 

This is because it’s a genetic condition and can be passed on by one or both parents. 

What’s worse is, because it’s a genetic condition, there is no cure and very few proven treatments to alcohol flush.

The only way to avoid this is by swapping your gin and tonic for a J2O. The choice is yours.