Why does my face turn red when I drink alcohol?

Updated February 21, 2017

Alcohol can turn your cheeks red when you drink. Red cheeks can make you look like you have consumed more than you actually have.


If you do have a facial reaction to alcohol, your cheeks may flush from a pale red to a very intense red.


Alcohol makes the blood vessels in your skin dilate. Not only can your cheeks turn red, but heavy drinkers may have a red nose as well.


The choice of type of alcohol and strength of a drink can make the red cheeks more or less prominent. Some people are less tolerant of alcohol and more prone to red cheeks.


Eating food along with the alcohol can help lessen the problem. Limiting the amount of alcohol you consume may help. Learn your personal limits if the reaction bothers you. Avoid alcohol if you consider this a problematic part of drinking.

Time Frame

People react differently and at different rates to alcohol consumption. For some, redness can occur immediately after consuming the first drink. Others may take longer to show red cheeks if they do at all. Not everybody reacts this way.

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About the Author

Laurie Darroch-Meekis is an award-winning freelance writer. She has written over 1,000 published pieces online and off since 2005 and has many more in progress. She holds a bachelor's degree and was educated in the United States and abroad.