Alcohol is the most widely abused substance in America due to its legal status, the effects it produces, and wide social acceptability. While many Americans consume alcohol on a regular basis, alcohol abuse or chronic, excessive drinking can take a major toll on the mind and body. Unfortunately, even though it is legal, alcohol abuse is extremely dangerous and can damage nearly every organ in the body – from your head all the way down to your toes.

Here are 5 ways alcohol can change your appearance.

1. Alcohol Dehydrates Your Skin and Speeds Up The Aging Process

Are you worried about fine lines and wrinkles? If so, you may want to think again about your drinking habits.

Alcohol dehydrates the body – and, skin, the body’s largest organ, suffers from this, too. Just think about what it feels like to wake up after a long night of binge drinking. The thing you probably crave the most is a big glass of water.

Well, that’s because alcohol slows down the mechanism of vasopressin – an antidiuretic hormone. This causes the kidneys to work overtime to keep up with excess fluid intake, causing your organs to become dehydrated.[1]

Rather than having soft, clear skin the next morning, you may notice your skin feeling dry, oily, or suffering a breakout. Over time, chronic drinking can make your skin begin to look wrinkled and cracked, making you appear older than you really are.

2. Too Much Drinking Can Make Your Hair Dry and Brittle

Unfortunately, your skin isn’t the only thing that will suffer the effects of drinking and dehydration. Your hair will, too.

Excessive alcohol intake can cause your hair to become cracked and brittle. Your hair may begin to break easier or develop a lot of split ends. Some people even experience hair loss as a result of long-term alcohol abuse.

In addition to dehydration, drinking too much can also lead to nutrient deficiencies or other gastrointestinal issues that lead to the malabsorption of nutrients. People who have become deficient in iron, zinc, and/or copper may experience alcohol-related hair loss.[2]

3. Yes, Beer Belly is Real: Alcohol Can Make You Gain Weight

While it’s true that some people can down several drinks like they are water, the same can’t be true for their calorie and sugar intake. Most alcoholic beverages either contain or are mixed with drinks that contain, a lot of sugar and calories. As a result, it can be easy to consume an entire day’s worth of calories in an evening out. People who drink excessively on a regular basis have been found to gain weight.[3]

It’s important to note that not everyone who abuses alcohol will gain weight. Some may actually lose weight due to malnutrition and other health conditions. Whatever the case may be, drinking alcohol can change your appearance in the form of weight fluctuations.

4. You Could Stay Bloated For Days

On top of weight-gain, alcohol is infamous for causing bloat. Several hours into drinking, you may find that your clothes fit a little tighter and that you’re sweating more.

This is because as alcohol dehydrates you, your body tries to compensate and replace the fluids by retaining the water it does have. This can cause your stomach, hands, feet, and face to become puffy or bloated.

Everyone’s body is different, and depending on the amount you drank and how often you drink, the bloating can last anywhere from hours to several days. If you’re a daily drinker, the bloat may never settle down until you decide to put the bottle aside.

5. That Redness Can Linger For Hours and Days After Getting Drunk

Some people turn bright red or become “flushed” when they drink alcohol. This is because alcohol consumption causes excess blood to rush to the face, resulting in temporary redness of the nose and cheeks.

If you’re a chronic drinker, however, this redness may lead to broken capillaries and permanent redness around your face. It’s impossible to get rid of broken capillaries, so this is a potential long-term effect of alcohol abuse.

Alcohol may also trigger rosacea flare-ups and other skin-related conditions that would otherwise be easily controlled, leading to persistent redness.[4]

Find Help for Alcoholism Today

If you are worried about the ways in which alcohol may change your appearance, the best solution is just to stop drinking. Some people, however, have become dependent on alcohol and find that they simply cannot stop drinking on their own.

That’s where we come in.

At Comprehensive Wellness Centers, we believe that each individual patient that walks through our doors requires and deserves their own personalized path to rehabilitation and healing. We don’t just say we give personalized care, we deliver it.

Contact our alcohol rehab center in West Palm Beach and you will begin to experience a community of care that exists to cater to your every need.