The effects that alcohol has on your skin

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We’ve talked in the past about what effects smoking and a poor diet can have on the skin so now, just in time for the last party weekend of the summer, let’s talk about the effects excessive alcohol can have on the skin….

Every time you enjoy an alcoholic drink the blood vessels in your skin dilate for a while and your skin quite often becomes red and blotchy.  Generally, for most who keep their drinking occasional and in moderation – the skin will go back to normal after a few hours.  However, after a period of time of frequent excessive drinking, these blood vessels will take longer and longer to go back to normal and may eventually never completely undilate and your skin could stay damaged.  If you already have skin conditions such as acne or rosacea, alcohol will aggravate these problems too.

Alcohol depletes your body of its natural hydration, as well as important vitamins in the body such as Vitamin A.  Over time, this means the body’s ability to repair itself, or create immunity to health problems will be in jeopardy because the anti-oxidant levels are too low from lack of vitamins and hydration.   Excessive alcohol can do a quick number on your liver and your liver is what helps to remove most of the toxins from the body – so if your liver doesn’t work properly, not much else will either.  Liver damage, brain loss, ulcers, and mood changes are just a few of the effects on your body, but your skin will see the damage first in the form of dryness and dehydration, the broken red capillaries, as well as blemishes, constant redness, and skin wrinkles.

For those of you out there who like to enjoy a few alcoholic beverages a week, or even those who go on the occasional bender – do not be too concerned because alcohol in moderation is actually not bad for you unless you do have skin or medical issues that respond unfavorable to alcohol consumption.  So enjoy your Labor Day weekend – have a few brews – but just remember to stop after a few and not make a habit of it for the sake of your skin!


    Harry Vernaglia


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