So you have probably heard us go on and on about the dangerous health effects alcohol has on the body. But did you know that alcohol can affect your appearance too? If you thought only meth took out its intensity on your face, think again. While your teeth may not be falling out of your head due to meth mouth, alcohol can do some damage. And admit it, when you were using, you thought you looked hot. Didn’t we all?
This is our series Your Face on Drugs and if you are like me, in this case, it is ok for you to “be so vain”.
Your Face on Drugs: Alcohol
We are going to go ahead and get some of the worst of it out of the way as quickly as we can. When it comes to the way you look and alcohol, plain and simple, alcohol makes you fat. In fact, a pint of 4% beer or two double gin and tonics equals around the same amount of calories as one burger. Not just that but you get severe hunger after a long night of drinking as long as you aren’t throwing up and its usually not a piece of fruit you reach for. All of this can add on the pounds, ruining not only your physical appearance but also depriving your body of nutritious foods and feeding it empty calories.
And you don’t have to drink for a long time to cause your pants to be snug in the morning. A few nights of heavy drinking can cause bloating. Alcohol depletes the body of water and the kidneys have to kick into overdrive. This effect comes into play by causing bloat in your face and pretty much all over your body. Because your body is being robbed of all its fluids and electrolytes it stores the water you ingest which causes tissues to swell making you look like a kind of chipmunk.
So picture this, you have been drinking for a while. You wake up one morning to get ready for work and all of a sudden your pants are a little tight and your shirt doesn’t fit as well, the buttons are stretching at the clasps. You walk over to the mirror to look at your face and…it is red and your eyes are blood shot, your skin is dull, you look haggard and your hair is stripped and has no shine.
Yeah, let’s start with the redness in the face: Alcohol ruins not only your figure but also your skin. Drinking alcohol is one of the main culprits of rosacea. Rosacea is a skin condition that causes redness and often pustules on the cheeks and nose. Drinking alcohol can cause a surge in the condition. But don’t think you are off the hook if you don’t have rosacea. People who don’t have the disorder run the risk of unwanted, PERMANENT, redness. Alcohol not only increases blood flow and dilates tiny blood vessels that are closest to the outer layer of your skin, it sometimes does it in such volume that they burst. This causes unsightly and sometimes permanent broken capillaries on the face.
YOUR FUTURE SKIN IS BEING HARMED TOO! If you ever woken up so thirsty after a night of drinking it is because alcoholic beverages dehydrate your body. Alcohol does this by hindering the production of vasopressin (anti-diuretic hormones). So alcohol literally forces your kidneys to work over time to remove excess water from your system and leaves your organs parched and dry. And guess what organ is the largest? Yes, your skin. Skin that is dry from the inside out not only wrinkles more quickly than nice moist skin but it can take on a pale kind of gray look to it too. This is a condition that gets worse too due to the fact that alcohol depletes your poor body of vitamin A which is an antioxidant needed for cell renewal and turnover.
Your eyes: Just like alcohol causes broken capillaries on your face it also irritates and enlarges the tiny blood vessels on the surface of your eye causing the “bloodshot” appearance. But that isn’t that big of a deal right? You aren’t that vain to where you’d care about a few red lines? Well would you care about blindness? Because excessive drinking robs the body of some nutrients required to maintain eye health, it can lead to a condition that is known as alcoholic optic neuritis, which impairs eyesight and over time can result in blindness.
Now about that hair: In the same way that alcohol dehydrates your skin it also dehydrates your hair. Dry hair equals weak hair and weak or brittle hair is more prone to split ends. Excessive alcohol use can also cause a zinc deficiency in the body, which has been shown to cause hair loss. So if you think split ends can be fixed, thin or even no hair can’t.
So the end result is you look in the mirror and you see a face red with broken blood vessels, sunken eyes, dull skin with no glow, dull hair with split ends, dried and falling out, bloated face, arms, legs, and pants that are too snug.
If I may be so bold to say: That is not hot.
So the next time your vanity keeps you do from anything maybe use that same vanity to keep yourself from drinking. Because alcohol affects you on the outside as much as it does on the inside. Value yourself and the beauty you possess. If you are sober be thankful you aren’t putting yourself this through this anymore and if you drink may I suggest allowing not drinking to allow yourself to be your most healthy and well, attractive.
If you or your loved one is in need of alcohol addiction treatment please give us a call at 800-951-6135.