This question was answered on Tue 16, Feb 2010 07:08pm by Dr J Singh

ALCOHOL> TERRIBLE ITCHING on palms and soles of the feet

Asked by redsleighdown (Male; 21; INDIA; asthmatic, allergy test revealed only minor food allergies; Relevant drugs:deslor antihistamine, Montair-10, Levolin & Foracort inhalers ) on Mon 15, Feb 2010 07:01pm

Ive been drinking for maybe the last one year or so, say once a month or so. Initially it caused no problems, but more recently after having a few rounds on a given night...i wake up the next day with really sore/raw/sensitive skin on my PALMS and the SOLES of my feet and this soon progresses to AGRESSIVE ITCHING of the PALMS & the SOLE of the foot(usually lasts 2-3days and may also be accompanied by skin-loss). The itching is so bad i couldnt sleep last night> i tried washing my feet in cold water and rubbed some aloe vera gel on it as well...No good! HELP!!!

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Answer by Dr J Singh  on Tue 16, Feb 2010 07:08pm:

Hello, It can be an allergic reaction to the ingredients of alcohol. It is usually not the alcohol that produces the allergic reaction to the wine or beer. The other ingredients in the alcohol, such as yeast, sulfur dioxide, and additives are often the culprits. Also Alcohol (ethanol) is broken down by liver enzymes within minutes. Conversion of ethanol to acetaldehyde requires the enzyme alcohol dehydrogenase. Acetaldehyde is then transformed to acetic acid ("vinegar") by the enzyme aldehyde dehydrogenase. If individuals can't break down alcohol easily, problems may occur if alcohol is consumed. The symptoms that you are having may be due to deficiency of aldehyde dehydrogenase. So please get your liver function tests evaluated. I hope it helps. Take care and regards.
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Comment by suvansh lal on Sun 28, Mar 2010 06:16pm:
hello Doctor thanks for this apt answer, I am having a similar problem, something i cant understand is that weather it is a signal of a liver disease or just a deficiancy ??..which i will manage with not drinking at all thanks in advance

Comment by on Sun 15, Aug 2010 08:23am:
I have the same problem.After consuming 4 to 5 drinks the itching and small blistters appear, after about 20 hours, on hands and feet. I had consulted one of the top skin specialist of PGI and his answer was very similar to that of Dr. JS Anand. My Liver Functioning Test is normal but it still happens. No cure or prevention found except for taking a tablet of allegra-180 before you start drinking and continue for the next day also. Any comment ? GS

Comment by lv on Sat 16, Oct 2010 01:52am:
I have the same problem. I believe it's called dyshidrotic eczema, a form of eczema affecting palms and soles of the feet. Hydrocortisone & antihistamines have helped relieve the symptoms, but I now stay away from alcohol altogether. From emedicines,com, "antigens may act as haptens with a specific affinity for palmoplantar proteins of the stratum lucidum of the epidermis. The binding of these haptens to tissue receptor sites may initiate pompholyx." Dr. Anand, would you happen to know which of the ingredients in alcohol or its degradative products would most likely accumulate in the palms and soles of the feet? There's probably no straight answer but I'd really appreciate any input you may have. I feel that I'm getting close to identifying the cause of my problem. Thank you.

Comment by SG on Fri 31, Dec 2010 03:57am:
I have the same problem after turning 25. It has been happening to me for the last 5 years. It is more serious if i drink more than half a bottle of red or white wine. Blisters on palms and soles after 12 hours and peak within 24-36hr. After 36 hours, blisters will start to become smaller, follow by a lot of skin loss. My kidney function was normal in my last full body check up.

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