Alcohol and Atopic Dermatitis: Results from a Systematic Review

A recent systematic review and meta-analysis looked at the possible connection between alcohol and atopic dermatitis (AD) in two different ways.

First, the study explored whether there may be a link to alcohol use in pregnancy and AD in children, and then also looked more broadly at how alcohol use may affect AD risk generally. The authors were able to identify two sets of articles to address each question.

For the association between alcohol use in pregnancy and the resultant AD in offspring, they included five studies that met all inclusion criteria. The results of the analysis of these papers showed that there was an association between alcohol use in pregnancy and later development of AD in children. The authors hypothesize that this link is due to the inflammatory-modulating properties in alcohol, specifically alcohol’s effect on Th2 cell development. Th2 deviations in the immune system are linked to AD.

For the second research question, alcohol use in adolescents and adults and the effects on AD, the results did not confirm that increased use is correlated with AD symptoms or that patients with AD used more alcohol.

The authors note that the results across the papers in this group did not show consistent associations, but there is enough evidence that the authors suggest continued study and attention on this topic.