Pacific Rim
October 7, 2022 | wine | Pacific Rim

Why Does My Face Turn Red When I Drink Wine?

It’s a common reaction for many people. You’re at a party. You’ve had a single glass of delicious red wine. Suddenly, you discover your face turning red after drinking it. What’s really happening? If you’re asking yourself, “Why does my face turn red when I drink wine?” then don’t worry. You’re not alone. Flushed cheeks after consuming wine or any type of alcohol is a fairly common reaction. 

Alcohol Flush Reaction

The technical term for your face turning red after drinking is alcohol flush reaction. It’s called many other things, but it always means the same thing - as soon as you consume a glass of wine or any other beverage, you develop a flushed or blotchy appearance. You may also notice that your heart rate speeds up. Some people experience a headache or nausea too. 

Some studies estimate this reaction happens in nearly 540 million people across the world. Some cultures tend to be more susceptible to the reaction, including those of Japanese, Chinese, and Korean descent. It happens to those who have a different genetic structure which means the ALDH2 enzyme your body needs to break down the acetaldehyde that naturally occurs in any alcoholic beverage doesn’t work as well. When you consume too much acetaldehyde, you get the symptoms so many people notice. 

Is There Anything To Stop Alcohol Flush Reaction?

There’s no real danger associated with this reaction, but there are some things you can do if the reaction is concerning. Why does my face turn red when I drink wine? Some medications, specifically histamine-2 blockers, can help to control the reaction. You’ll find these in medications like Pepcid, Zantac 360, and Tagamet. There are also other treatments including Brimonidine, a topical cream that helps to lessen facial redness on a temporary basis by reducing the size of the blood vessels in your face. Some people have also found relief by using lasers and light-based therapies to reduce overall redness as well.

Alcohol flush reaction isn’t a concerning condition for many, but the only real way to prevent it is to not enjoy that glass of wine. So, it's a personal decision. For more information on wine consumption tips, etiquette, and more, follow along with our blog!


Commenting has been turned off.


Recent Posts