03/12/2012 02:20 EDT | Updated 05/12/2012 05:12 EDT

Tips for Curing a Skin Hangover

With St. Patrick's Day around the corner, the Irish and all who love an excuse to down a green beer or indulge in a spirit will be celebrating with cheers. Unfortunately, the very things Celtics love to celebrate with on this day -- green beer and Irish whiskey -- is the thing that can irritate rosacea as well as other skin conditions.

Alcohol is a known trigger for skin conditions. One of the most common of Celtic inherited conditions is rosacea, a chronic skin condition that can cause red and inflamed skin across the cheeks, nose and forehead.

Of course, problematic skin is unlikely to sway folks away from their local pub. If you are going to indulge, here are a few tips on how to treat a skin hangover and lessen the ugly effects.

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate

Can I recommend vodka water? Drinking as much water as possible before, during and after consuming alcohol is the best way to offset the dehydration it causes. In the morning, substitute your morning coffee for something caffeine-free to avoid further dehydration. Coconut water is a great natural alternative to sports drinks for replenishing your electrolytes and, since it contains less sugar and additives, it is a better option for people with sensitive skin and conditions like rosacea.


As Irish luck would have it, St. Patrick's Day falls on Saturday this year. So cancel any ambitious morning plans and let yourself sleep in. If you work weekends, pencil in a cat nap for when you return. The best time for your skin to recover, repair and heal is when it's resting. So while you may feel lazy for doing it, your body is actually hard at work processing the damage done the night before.

Avoid Hangover Food

Unfortunately, you can't trust your body to tell you what it needs all the time. Cravings for greasy, salty foods won't help your complexion any more than it will your hangover. People with rosacea are already sensitive to foods that are high in fat and sugar, so it is even more important to be weary of your Sunday brunch option. What your body and skin need are vitamins and minerals, in particular the B-vitamins, vitamin C and potassium. Nuts, bananas, orange juice, beans and fish are rich in skin-boosting nutrients.

Dr. Jason Rivers is one of Canada's top dermatologists and the founder of Riversol Skincare Inc. He has published more than 135 articles in various journals. He is the editor-in-chief of The Journal of Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery and the associate editor of The Skin Therapy Letter. You can contact him on or