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Dr. Andrew Rynne

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Can skincare products with an alcohol base affect the blood alcohol level?

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Dr. Matt Wachsman

Addiction Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :1985

Answered : 2798 Questions

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Posted on Fri, 10 Nov 2017 in Smoking and Alcohol Addiction
Question: hi, I was just curious if a topical drug that has an alcohol base could enter my bloodstream thus effecting my blood alcohol level. Also can skin care products alcohol base enter the bloodstream if applied to the skin?
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Answered by Dr. Matt Wachsman 52 minutes later
Brief Answer:
There's affect and affect.

Detailed Answer:
Yes it gets into the blood and has effects BUT. let us say it is ALL alcohol and it ALL gets into the skin. That's about 1 to 2 teaspoons of alcohol. It won't have effects on thinking or inebriation or really any more effect than about 1/3 of a shot of vodka.
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BUT, it will show up on most tests of alcohol. It will show on a breathalyzer but as well under a single drink. Mostly that is not illegal but if someone has a particular court order, it can be a problem. Furthermore there are some blood or urine tests for ANY alcohol use that will show up as positive from this.

Yes, it goes in and yes, this is well known to affect alcohol testing. It's just such a small amount that in general it isn't enough to matter.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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