Alcohol consumption decreases the protection efficiency of the antioxidant network and increases the risk of sunburn in human skin

Skin Pharmacol Physiol. 2013;26(1):45-51. doi: 10.1159/000343908. Epub 2012 Nov 7.


In recent years, epidemiological data has demonstrated that alcohol consumption is a risk factor for sunburn, melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer. We hypothesized that if the concentration of the antioxidants in the skin has already decreased due to alcohol consumption, then an adequate neutralization of the free radicals induced by ultraviolet light cannot be performed. Based on this hypothesis, we determined the carotenoid concentration in the skin and the minimal erythema dose (MED) of 6 male human volunteers before and after consumption of alcohol or alcohol and orange juice combined. The results showed a significant decrease in the carotenoid concentration in the skin and the MED after alcohol consumption, but no significant decrease after a combined intake of alcohol and orange juice.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Carotenoids / metabolism*
  • Citrus sinensis*
  • Ethanol / administration & dosage
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Plant Extracts / administration & dosage*
  • Skin / metabolism
  • Sunburn / etiology*
  • Sunburn / metabolism
  • Sunburn / prevention & control
  • Ultraviolet Rays / adverse effects*
  • Young Adult


  • Plant Extracts
  • Carotenoids
  • Ethanol