How to Stop Turning Red When Drinking Alcohol?

There are a number of people who face the problem of their face turning red while drinking alcohol. People usually debate on the fact whether this change in the color of the face is healthy or unhealthy. If you are worried about the same issue, then here is some information that can be of help to you.

The first thing that you need to know is why you turn red when you drink alcohol. Well, this is a result of the alcohol flush reaction. This happens when your body is unable to break the alcohol that you have consumed completely. When you consume alcohol, it metabolizes into a by product called as acetaldehyde. Now to break this acetaldehyde your body makes use of an enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase 2. So, when there is a problem in your body regarding this aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 like the enzyme is inactive, then it is unable to break the acetaldehyde and this toxin causes the alcohol flush reaction. It has also been said that when your body accumulates a lot of acetaldehyde this indicates that there would be more toxins in your body and this can lead to cancer.

Studies have also revealed that inactive aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 is at time hereditary and most of the times it is seen in people of Asian descent. If you face any such problems then read on to get more information on how to stop getting red while drinking alcohol.

There are many studies that show if you take heartburn medicines like ranitidine or famotidine approximately one hour before drinking, then it can help you in reducing the alcohol flush reaction. The exact mechanism of how these medicines work in helping avoid the alcohol flush reaction is still not solved, but to satisfy the readers scientists say that drugs are antihistaminic and hence they prevent capillary dilation. There are also studies that have revealed that people suffering from the alcohol flush reaction usually get more tolerant with time.

Also, having any food mainly consisting of carbohydrates would help you in avoiding the reaction. This is because carbohydrates would absorb ethanol and prevent it from accumulating in the body.

Studies have indicated that people who suffer from the alcohol flush reaction are less prone to any other unpleasant side effects related to consumption of alcohol. However, they are more prone to any illness that is related to alcohol like cancer or liver diseases. Many of the scientists believe that alcohol flush reaction is the own mechanism of the persons’ body that discourages him/her from drinking.

No matter what is the reason of you turning red while drinking alcohol, it is advised that you visit your physician to know it better. Only a physician can advise you on how to save yourself from turning red while having alcohol. Don’t take any over the counter medications as at times they can cause a reaction. Always inform your physician when taking any of the medications for alcohol flush reaction.


  1. It says in your article to take ranitidine (heartburn medicine) one hour before alcohol consumption. I have read in other articles that this can lead to an increase in person’s blood alcohol levels and should not be mixed. In fact most medical professions advice against this as not only will it increase Blood Alcohol Levels but continued use can also cause havoc to stomach lining.

    In this article it says to have it one hour before. Is this stated to address this issue? Although I researched and questioned this advice, many readers may not. Please alter this article to better reflect the medical consensus on mixing alcohol and heartburn medication.

  2. Thank You James for putting this out there 🙂

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