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How Alcohol Changes Your Appearance

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Drinking alcohol can bring about different changes to your appearance, including alcoholic face changes. For example, many people experience a red or flushed face that feels warm while under the effects of alcohol. These effects are often short-term and quickly wear off once sober. However, long-term drinking can bring about other changes to your appearance. 

What Does Alcohol Do to the Body?

Short-term drinking, long-term chronic drinking, and binge drinking have significant impacts on the body. For starters, there is the alcoholic buzz everyone experiences. This sensation can make you feel relaxed, calm, and elated. You may notice your inhibitions slip away, and you become more social. You also have a higher chance of engaging in risky behaviors and making impulsive decisions while under the influence of alcohol.

Some of the physical effects on the body from drinking often include:

  • Hangovers
  • Liver Disease/Failure
  • Heart Disease
  • Increased Risks of Cancer
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Weight Gain
  • Chronic Bad Breath
  • Memory Loss
  • Blackouts
  • Increased Risks of STDs

There are also emotional effects of drinking, such as:

  • Inability to Control Emotions
  • Mood Swings
  • Irritability
  • Aggressive and Violent Outbursts
  • Depression
  • Anxiety

Furthermore, if there is a family history of mental illness or a pre-existing condition, then chronic and binge drinking could worsen this condition or even cause one to be triggered. 

How Does Alcohol Change Body Appearance?

Alcohol can bring about several changes in body appearance. These changes can and do vary based on the amount of alcohol consumed and the length of time one has been drinking. Changes can include:

Hair Problems

Some people will notice that their hair becomes dry and brittle, breaking easily. Other people will start to lose hair. Hair problems are the result of the body being dehydrated. 

Nail Problems

The nails can become brittle and break much easier. Nail growth can also slow. These problems are attributed to alcohol altering the body’s ability to absorb water, causing dehydration.

Skin Problems

The skin can start to take on a gray-like color. This change is the result of alcohol leaching vitamin A from the body. Long-term chronic drinking and binge drinking can also create a vitamin A deficiency, which the skin needs to maintain its normal color and appearance. 

Body Odor

The liver will metabolize most of the alcohol consumed. However, the remaining amount is released from the body through the sweat glands. As a result, people with alcohol use disorders often have a strong body odor. 

How the Face Changes for an Alcoholic

Alcohol even affects facial appearance. We already mentioned how alcohol causes redness and flushness on the face. This is caused by alcohol forcing the blood vessels in the face to expand and contract, pushing blood under the facial skin where it is thinner. Hence the red, flushed appearance. Some people even develop spider veins on their faces due to the blood vessels collapsing from being forced open and closed too many times. Spider veins can also develop in the eyes and manifest as bloodshot eyes. 

Another facial change associated with being addicted to alcohol is facial swelling and bloating. This occurs because the skin is attempting to retain as much water as possible to offset alcohol dehydration. Furthermore, alcohol can cause an inflammatory response in some people, appearing as facial bloating.

Additionally, there is a condition that long-term alcoholism can cause called rhinophyma, a chronic skin condition that affects the nose. It is often referred to as an alcoholic nose because it causes the nose to swell, enlarge, and turn red. This condition can also cause the skin on the nose to become bumpy or even turn purplish in color. In addition, prolonged alcohol substance use can cause premature aging and wrinkles to develop around the eyes, forehead, and other facial areas. However, the appearance of an alcoholic face before and after treatment will improve throughout recovery.

Can You Reverse the Effects of Alcoholism?

Most of the changes to your appearance caused by alcoholism can be reversed if you stop drinking. As soon as the body has been detoxed from alcohol, it is able to start healing the damage caused by drinking. Lifestyle changes are also beneficial and can help the body recover faster. For example, eating healthy, well-balanced meals rich in vitamins and nutrients and regular exercise are essential components for reversing the effects of alcohol use disorders. Many people benefit from taking vitamin supplements as well. 

What About Alcoholic Face Changes?

Most of the alcoholic face changes experienced will gradually improve the longer sobriety is maintained. However, an alcoholic nose is a chronic condition that will never go away. Instead, it can be managed using different treatment methods and could eventually go into remission.  

Alcohol Detox and Addiction Treatment in Orange County, CA

When you are tired of how alcohol affects your body appearance and causes alcoholic face changes, alcohol detox, and alcohol rehab are available at Pacific Sands Recovery Center in Orange County, California. We work with you to create a personalized detox and addiction treatment plan to help you overcome your alcoholism and reverse most of the body and facial changes caused by alcohol. For further information or to take the first steps toward recovery, please feel free to visit our admissions page or give us a call to speak with an intake specialist.


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