Alcohol is known to have several physical effects on the body, including brain, heart, stomach, and liver damage. But did you know that alcohol use and abuse can have a significant impact on your skin as well? Here is what you need to know about the effects of alcohol on skin.
It dehydrates your skin.
One of the main effects that alcohol has on the skin is its dehydrating effect. Alcohol actually dehydrates your body in general, and so the skin’s moisture levels take a hit as well when you drink alcohol. This is because alcohol hinders the production of vasopressin (antidiuretic hormone), forcing the kidneys to work extra hard to remove excess water from your system and leaving your organs parched. Chronic alcohol abuse can even lead to nutritional deficiency as the alcohol replaces normal food in your diet, depriving you of the nutrients your body and skin need. Dehydrated skin, over time, loses its elasticity and ages prematurely.
It can cause acne.
Alcohol abuse can also heavily impact your hormonal levels, and this hormonal imbalance can, in turn, cause acne. The sugar in many alcoholic drinks can also spike your insulin levels, increasing inflammation and therefore exacerbating the acne problem.
It makes you age faster.
As mentioned above, dehydrated skin ages prematurely. This is because dry skin is much more likely to wrinkle. Alcohol also deprives your body of vitamin A, which is necessary for cell renewal and turnover.
It can cause facial redness.
This is actually more of a vascular effect of alcohol, but it is easily apparent on the face. Alcohol can give you persistent facial redness by enlarging your blood vessels. Over time, after sustained alcohol use, the brain ceases to regulate vascular control, resulting in persistent facial redness.
It can be an aggravating factor in several skin conditions.
Those with skin conditions like rosacea and psoriasis may very well see an increase in their symptoms when they drink alcohol excessively. With rosacea, for example, alcohol use causes the blood vessels to enlarge, thus exacerbating what is already going on when you have rosacea. With psoriasis, meanwhile, heavy alcohol intake can lead to new onset of psoriasis, especially on the fingers and hands. Skin infections also occur more frequently in those who abuse alcohol because alcohol impairs the immune system and can cause nutritional deficiency. Additionally, alcohol abuse can increase your risk of developing skin cancer.