Drinking alcohol affects many different parts of the body. Although health concerns are usually focused on how alcohol damages the liver and the heart, the skin can take quite a beating from alcohol abuse as well. Not only can the damage done to one’s skin have serious lasting effects, but it can also show signs of alcohol addiction before any other part of the body.
Links Between Alcohol And Skin Problems That Aren’t So Serious
Drinking alcohol doesn’t always cause serious harm to the skin, but alcohol will always affect how the skin looks no matter how much a person drinks. In moderation, alcohol will have only the slightest effect on the skin and the effects will usually go away once alcohol has left the system.
The connection between alcohol and skin problems are close. In most cases, drinking alcohol will cause the skin to redden. When alcohol is introduced to the body, blood vessels will dilate and open up blood flow to underneath the skin’s surface. Moderate drinkers will have the reddening effect go away quickly. People who have problems with rosacea, a permanent redness of the skin, are going to have a harder time hiding it when they start drinking. Habitual drinkers will also start getting spider veins across their nose, cheeks, arms, chest, hands, and stomach from the continued expansion of blood vessels, which can make someone look older.
Skin also looks older with regular alcohol intake because it dries out the skin. Habitual drinking can cause dehydration, which will keep the skin from getting the moisture that it needs. Without that moisture, wrinkles are going to appear at a faster rate.
Regular drinking can also cause the skin to bruise more easily. Excessive drinking can lead to deficiencies in the vitamins C and K, both of which are necessary to prevent bruising and heal the skin correctly. While it may not make someone anemic or cause them to pick up any blood disorders, it can exacerbate those problems if a drinker were to have them.
Serious Skin Damage Linked To Alcohol Intake
Drinking alcohol on a near daily basis can cause some serious skin damage, especially if the habitual drinking has been going on for a while. This skin damage won’t disappear once alcohol leaves the system either. People who continuously drink could suffer with the toll that is taken on the skin for the rest of their lives. Some of that damage not only looks bad, but it can also cause serious health issues.
Often, people who have a heavy alcohol intake open their skin up to more infections. This is partially due to how dry the skin becomes, as dry skin is going to be more prone to cracking and breaking, which will lead to a higher likelihood of infection. In addition, drinking can decrease immune system function, so regular drinking can alter how well the system works and how the body heals itself. Since the body can’t heal properly and the skin breaks so easily, some, if not many, skin infections are likely to occur.
Regular drinking can also increase someone’s chances of developing skin cancer. Having dry, cracked skin can make the body more susceptible to the sun’s rays. Since the skin is already damaged, the sun can damage it even more and lead to cancer that otherwise wouldn’t have been there. While the increased odds of skin cancer isn’t high, it’s still something that regular drinkers need to worry about.
Yellowing skin can also happen with excessive drinking habits. If that happens, odds are that the person is developing jaundice, which means that the liver is starting to fail. Anyone noticing a yellowing of their skin needs to seek the help of a doctor immediately.
The Best Way To Deal With Alcohol-Based Skin Problems
The best way to combat current and possible skin damage caused by alcohol consumption is to stop drinking. Although that might not be a problem for some people, those who are addicted to alcohol are going to have a significant problem quitting. There are ways for those dealing with alcohol addiction to get help and move away from the damaging substance. Going through alcohol rehab is the most effective option.
People who deal with addiction often have past experiences that play a role in why they started the habit. Therapists at the treatment center can work through the pain of those past experiences and help people move on from them. As they turn away from those moments, people struggling with addiction will learn how to deal with other life stresses without relying on alcohol. That involves learning different types of coping mechanisms in order to survive day-to-day life without relapsing.
As they work through treatment, some of the skin problems are going to start clearing up. For major skin problems, however, talking with a doctor might be necessary. Not only can they assess how bad the damage has become, they can also prescribe medications that will help with bruising, redness, and other issues. While it’s possible that the damage isn’t reversible, skin problems can be managed with daily maintenance and professional care.
Even Skin That’s Been Damaged By Alcohol Abuse Can Look Good Again
The skin will look worn, dry, and tired if someone’s been addicted to alcohol for a really long time. The damage done can cause lasting health problems that could ultimately be dangerous or life-threatening. While some people can’t reverse that damage, others can make their skin look good despite the abuse with professional help. All they have to do is reach out for it.
The good news is that the skin will tell you when the body is struggling with alcohol. If individuals pay attention to those visible signs, they can take the steps they need to stop addictive habits. Then they can go back to having healthy, hydrated skin that won’t crack or cause them to become sick.