Home » Alcohol-Related Skin Issues: Causes, Effects, and Addiction Treatment
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One of the most common questions asked by those looking to make positive lifestyle changes is, “How does too much alcohol affect the skin?”
Sustained or excessive drinking can trigger many alcohol-related skin issues, including dryness, reduced elasticity, and flushing. While some alcohol skin damage like flushing or dry skin is benign, more severe alcoholic skin issues like liver disease can develop as a result of chronic alcohol abuse. Additionally, alcohol abuse may inflame underlying skin conditions.
This guide addresses the question, “does alcohol affect skin”, and explores the various effects of alcohol on skin, both short-term and long-term.
Adverse alcohol effect on skin can occur after a single night of drinking.
Since alcohol is a diuretic, the substance causes your body to make increased amounts of urine. Resultantly, your system will lose more salt and water than normal, leading to dehydration that impacts the skin as follows:
Space alcoholic beverages with a glass of water to mitigate the risk of dehydration while drinking alcohol.
Flushing is another common side effect associated with alcohol consumption. Drinking alcohol stimulates the release of histamines, causing blood vessels under your skin to dilate, giving your complexion an inflamed, flushed appearance.
Alcohol abuse can disrupt sleep patterns. Ongoing sleep disruption may trigger temporary changes to skin that include:
The sustained abuse of alcohol may provoke or aggravate skin conditions that include:
The sustained abuse of alcohol is likely to involve persistent flare-ups of flushing and dry skin.
Long-term effects of heavy drinking on the skin include:
Skin changes related alcoholic liver disease: Over time, alcohol abuse can bring on liver complications that include cirrhosis and hepatitis. These conditions often cause skin changes like jaundice, itchy skin, and dark skin around the eyes.
Yes, alcohol consumption can cause dry skin. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it increases urine production and causes dehydration in the body. When your body is dehydrated, your skin can become dry and flaky. Beyond this, alcohol causes a decrease in oil production by the skin, further inflaming dryness.
Additionally, alcohol can also impair your skin’s natural barrier function, making it more prone to drying and moisture, prompting redness, irritation, and other skin complications.
To prevent alcohol-related dry skin, drink at least eight glasses of water each day, especially when consuming alcohol. Using a moisturizer regularly and avoiding harsh soaps and skincare products can help maintain the skin’s moisture barrier. Limiting alcohol consumption or avoiding it altogether can also help reduce the likelihood of alcohol-related dry skin and other skin issues.
Here are some of the most common alcohol-related skin issues:
In addition to the adverse effects outlined above, chronic alcohol consumption may also lead to the following facial issues:
Although there is no cure for alcohol use disorder, the condition responds positively to pharmacological and behavioral treatment. We can help you from detox to discharge and beyond at Gratitude Lodge’s addiction rehabs in Orange County.
We offer alcohol addiction treatment programs at all levels of intensity at our locations throughout Southern California. Begin your recovery journey with a supervised medical detox and access medications to streamline withdrawal while being continuously medically monitored. After a week or so, you can transition into one of the following programs:
All treatment programs involve personalized therapy that combines science-backed and holistic interventions such as:
Call 888-861-1658 to begin your recovery journey at Gratitude Lodge.
Yes, drinking alcohol can cause skin issues. Excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration, which can make the skin appear dull and dry. Additionally, alcohol can dilate blood vessels, leading to a flushed appearance or exacerbating skin conditions like rosacea. Long-term heavy drinking may also contribute to more severe skin problems, such as acne, eczema, and premature aging.
Alcohol rash, also known as alcohol flush reaction, typically appears as red, flushed, or blotchy patches on the skin, often affecting the face, neck, and chest. The rash can be accompanied by a warm or tingling sensation and is more commonly experienced by individuals who have difficulty metabolizing alcohol properly.
Alcohol-related skin reactions can include alcohol flush reaction (red, flushed skin), dehydration leading to dry and dull skin, worsening of skin conditions like rosacea and eczema, and premature aging due to the damaging effects of alcohol on collagen and elastin in the skin. Excessive alcohol consumption can also impair the body’s ability to heal wounds and make the skin more susceptible to infections.
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