Dr. Abrar Qureshi of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston and colleagues looked at alcohol consumption and psoriasis data for 82,869 women ages 27-44 in 1991 -- participants in the Nurses' Health Study II. Through 2005, 1,150 cases of psoriasis developed, 1,069 of which were used for analysis.
The study, published in the Archives of Dermatology, finds the risk of the skin condition 72 percent greater among women averaging more than two drinks per week -- vs. women who did not drink alcohol.
"Non-light beer was the only alcoholic beverage that increased the risk for psoriasis, suggesting that certain non-alcoholic components of beer, which are not found in wine or liquor, may play an important role in new-onset psoriasis," Qureshi says in a statement.
The researchers suggest barley and other starches contain gluten -- to which some individuals with psoriasis show a sensitivity. Lower amounts of grain are used to make light beer -- possibly explaining why light beer was not associated with psoriasis.