From your skin to your eyes and weight, drinking alcohol could be impacting the way you look more than you realize.
Most of us know that regularly over-imbibing affects many aspects of our health, but did you ever stop to think about its impact on your appearance? “Our external appearance is largely dictated by our internal health,” says Alcohol and Drug Foundation chief executive Dr. Erin Lalor. “Both the short- and long-term effects of alcohol can affect our health and appearance. For example, poorer sleep is often overlooked as a side effect of alcohol consumption, yet sleep is foundational to overall health, wellbeing and can also affect our weight.” Let’s see what are the appearance effects of alcohol.
Appearance effects of alcohol
Alcohol might make you drowsy and help you fall asleep faster, but you may not stay that way. It breaks up your normal sleep rhythms and can make you restless throughout the night. That often leads to dark circles under your eyes. Cold compresses should help, but the best answer is a good night’s sleep. Try to get at least 7 hours a night.
Puffiness and Bloating
A night of drinking might make you feel swollen all over. Alcohol dehydrates your body, which could make your eyes puffy. Be sure to drink plenty of water during the day to stay hydrated. Alcohol also can irritate your stomach lining. That may lead to a swollen, bloated belly. The solution: Drink less booze, more water, and try an over-the-counter bloating remedy.
If your face flushes when you drink, you may have some degree of rosacea. This common skin condition causes your face — especially your cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead — to turn red. One of the apparent effects of alcohol is a trigger of rosacea flare. Some studies show alcohol might raise your odds of getting rosacea if you don’t already have it.
An enzyme issue can turn your cheeks rosy after you drink. ALDH2 is the enzyme that breaks down alcohol’s toxic compound. When it isn’t working right, the toxins stay in your cells, which leads to warmth and flushing. It’s a genetic issue that’s more likely to affect people from Asian backgrounds.
These red, itchy skin bumps might show up when you drink. They can affect just one body part or pop up all over. Sometimes they’re a symptom of alcohol intolerance, meaning your body can’t break down alcohol well. They may also result from an allergic reaction to an ingredient in alcohol. Hives could last a few minutes or a few days. Treat them with cool compresses and over-the-counter antihistamines.
One of the apparent effects of alcohol is cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection that usually affects your lower legs. It makes the skin there red, swollen, painful, and warm to the touch. The bacteria get into your body through a cut or wound in your skin. The infection is often serious. You’ll need to treat it with antibiotics.
For some people, sunlight causes extreme burning, blisters, and pain. This problem is often passed down in families, but alcohol use can also trigger it. Your skin may wound easily, itch, and turn red when you’re in the sun. To ease your symptoms, stop drinking and avoid direct sunlight.
One of the most uncomfortable appearance effects of alcohol. Regular heavy drinking can trigger psoriasis — a condition where skin cells build up and make dry, itchy patches. It could also make an outbreak worse, especially in men. Alcohol doesn’t mix well with psoriasis treatments, either. It may make it harder for some to do their job, and it could be dangerous when mixed with others.
You might notice dandruff on your scalp or itchy patches of greasy skin on other body parts. Doctors call this skin disease seborrheic dermatitis, and it’s often a sign of immune system problems or yeast in the body. For some people, drinking alcohol can trigger a flare-up. Over-the-counter shampoos are a good first treatment option, but you may need a prescription remedy.
Drinking alcohol is linked to cancer of the mouth, throat, voice box, and esophagus. Research shows alcohol use also may be tied to the most common types of skin cancer. Your body works to repair DNA damage caused by the sun, but alcohol can interfere with that process.
It is one of the rarest appearance effects of alcohol, but the palms of your hands — and maybe the soles of your feet — might turn red for no reason. They won’t hurt or itch. It can be genetic, but it could also result from medication, liver disease, or heavy alcohol use. There’s no cure for the redness. To ease symptoms, cut back on your drinking or treat the underlying disease.
Runny, Red Nose
Your nose might get red and stuffy or runny when you have a beer or a glass of wine. This allergy-like reaction usually happens within an hour of drinking. It’s common in people who also have asthma, sinus disease, or problems with aspirin and other nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Your doctor can help by slowly getting you used to aspirin, which should ease your symptoms.
Alcohol and weight gain
We’ve all heard about alcohol’s “empty calories” (meaning they have no nutritional value) but booze can also affect our weight in other more subtle ways. “For some people, it impacts eating behavior and food choices,” Dr. Lalor says. “For example, they may eat more if they drink alcohol before or during a meal. Or make less healthy food decisions when they’ve consumed alcohol than they otherwise would.”
When you drink alcohol, it is broken down into acetate, which your body burns before any other calorie you’ve consumed or stored. This means all the other processes that should be taking place (like absorbing nutrients and burning fat) are interrupted. And that’s not all. “Poorer sleep quality is another side effect of alcohol consumption, which can also affect our weight,” Dr. Lalor says. “People may feel less inclined to get up early and exercise if they haven’t had a good night’s sleep.”
Alcohol also affects your eyes and odor
“Some people may notice their eyes appear redder when they’ve been consuming alcohol,” explains AFD information officer Laura Bajurny. “This might be because alcohol can cause the blood vessels in the eyes to widen and appear more prominent.” There’s also the lack of sleep that can lead to red eyes plus nasty dark circles.
And what about the way we smell? “Alcohol affects everyone differently and some people may find that consuming alcohol affects their body odor while their body is breaking down and excreting the alcohol,” Laura says. “A small amount of this process happens through breath and sweat, however, this will vary depending on the individual.”
An impaired immune system can result from heavy alcohol consumption leaving an individual more susceptible to bacterial and fungal skin infections. There is even evidence to suggest an increased risk of skin cancer when coupled with so-called risky behaviors such as smoking and unprotected sun exposure. There’s no question that alcohol in excess seriously affects your appearance, but more importantly, it affects your organs and their proper function. Drinking in moderation does have health benefits, but don’t raise your glass too often to toast to good health.
Appearance Effects Of Alcohol: Effects of Chronic alcohol abuse
Effects of chronic alcohol abuse include:
- Esophagus: ulcer, varicose veins, cancer
- Liver: hepatitis, cirrhosis, gall stones
- CNS: dementia, poor coordination, Wernicke Korsakoff syndrome (Vitamin B1 deficiency) associated with psychiatric and visual disturbances
- Immune system: direct toxic effect on bone marrow, reduced number, and function of T-cells, reduced survival of immunoglobulins.
- Heart: high blood pressure, heart failure, irregular heart rhythm
- Hemostasis: clotting is impaired with reduced survival and aggregation of platelets and reduced thromboplastin
- Endocrine: low testosterone levels with loss of libido, testicular atrophy, impaired fertility and reduced facial hair, high estrogen levels with gynecomastia, change in fat distribution, and loss of body hair
Reclaim Your Life From The Appearance Effects Of Alcohol With Alcohol Detox California
Appearance effects of alcohol can be a sign of alcoholism. We Level Up California rehab institute can provide you, or someone you love, with the tools needed to recover from alcoholism with professional and safe treatment. Feel free to call us to speak with one of our counselors. We can inform you about this condition by giving you relevant information. Our specialists know what you are going through. Please know that each call is private and confidential.
 National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. Alcohol Metabolism: An Update.
 Pownall, H. J., Rosales, C., Gillard, B. K., & Gotto, A. M., Jr (2015). Alcohol: a nutrient with multiple salutary effects. Nutrients, 7(3), 1992–2000.
 Oliveira A, Rodríguez-Artalejo F, Lopes C. Alcohol intake and systemic markers of inflammation–the shape of the association according to sex and body mass index. Alcohol Alcohol.