The link between alcohol consumption and an increased risk of melanoma can be attributed to multiple factors according to recent studies. While other studies have indicated that alcohol consumption increases the risk of sunburn due to ineffective sunscreen application and prolonged sun exposure, Dermatologist Dr. Niyati Sharma has noted that a German study has also found that alcohol consumption has also been linked to increased severity of sunburns.

One study has shown a 7% increase in the risk of basal cell carcinoma and an 11% increase in the risk of squamous cell carcinoma for every standard-sized beer, small glass of wine, or 10g of distilled spirit consumed daily. Another study also found that there was a 20% increase in the risk of melanoma in those who consumed liquor compared to those who abstained or consumed alcohol infrequently. That number rose to 55% in those who consumed 50g of alcohol per day.

The exact cause of this increased risk is not known yet, but Dr. Sharma has noted that a lower level of carotenoids in those who consume alcohol is likely the cause of increased sensitivity to developing more severe sunburns at an accelerated rate.