Understanding the Link Between Alcohol and Skin Damage
Around 5% of adults in the US drink heavily(1) and although the dangers that alcohol abuse poses to your liver, heart and other organs are widely publicized, you may not appreciate the impact that heavy drinking has on your skin. Regularly exceeding alcohol recommendations not only takes its toll on your skin’s appearance, but it can also worsen pre-existing skin conditions and leave you vulnerable to skin problems that pose a risk to your health. As alcohol effects on the skin are typically visible long before you suffer lasting organ damage, recognizing the signs of alcohol skin problems early on allows you to address your drinking habits before you cause irreversible harm to your body.
Red Face and Alcohol Intake
The typical image that many of us have of someone who drinks heavily is that they have a red face and there is a lot of truth in this. The scientific explanation is that when you drink alcohol
your blood vessels dilate, allowing more blood to flow near the surface of your skin, giving your face a red glow. Some people are more prone to facial flushing though, as due to a genetic mutation they are unable to process alcohol effectively, which not only leads to a change in their complexion, but soon makes them feel dizzy and develop palpitations, nausea and vomiting from only small amounts of alcohol(2). This gene mutation is more common among people of Chinese, Japanese and Korean descent and owing to the consequences of drinking they are less likely to abuse alcohol. The link between alcohol and complexion
isn’t just short lived though, as when you regularly drink large quantities, spider veins appear at your skin’s surface. These unsightly veins are not just limited to your nose and cheeks with alcohol; face
spider veins are joined by those on your chest, stomach, arms and hands. While alcohol can directly cause these skin changes, if you are drinking to the extent where you have suffered liver damage, this can also contribute to the appearance of extra veins. As your veins are more prone to damage with alcohol abuse, they become leaky, which can also cause your face and other areas of your skin to appear swollen. To read more click here: Alcohol and Your Body’s Skin