available 24/7, 365

(888) 989-1479

Effects of Alcohol Abuse on the Skin

Table of Contents

Alcohol abuse affects you mentally, emotionally, and physically. Over time the effects of alcohol can have a heavy impact on your total wellbeing, but it is especially evident in your physical health. We associate alcohol with flushed faces and red noses, but the effects of alcohol abuse on the skin can go much further than you may realize.<?p>

Alcohol Abuse: How Does It Affect Your Skin?


When the body metabolizes alcohol, it widens the blood vessels, including those that bring blood to the face. This is what causes a red face when people are intoxicated. With repeated alcohol abuse, the blood vessels continue to expand and can cause permanent redness in your face, particularly across the nose and cheeks.


Alcohol contains no nutrients. In fact, it dehydrates you and can strip your body of its nutrients. The result is slack, dull skin that does not give off a healthy glow. Alcohol abuse means that alcohol often takes the place of food. As this happens, the body loses its ability to absorb essential vitamins and nutrients, and the skin can become dry and loose.


When your skin doesn’t get enough vitamin A, it produces less collagen. Without collagen, it can’t keep your skin smooth and tight. A loss of elasticity in the skin is a normal part of aging, but alcohol abuse can accelerate these effects, leading to premature wrinkles.


The lips, gums, and tongue may also reflect ongoing alcohol abuse. The lips can become very dry, the gums inflamed, and the tongue swollen. In some cases, bacteria can take up residence on the tongue and form a black, hairy substance.

See also  Alcohol Abuse and Your Sex Drive

Effects of liver disease

Alcohol abuse is linked to liver disease, which is reflected in the skin. People with alcohol-induced liver disease may have yellow, jaundiced skin and eyes. Spider veins may start to show all over the body, even more so when alcohol is involved than in non-alcoholic-induced liver disease. The skin around the eyes, mouth, and legs may start to turn dark. Dryness, itching, and swelling is also common.

Skin conditions

Alcohol can cause or exacerbate certain skin conditions, including skin cancer, psoriasis, dermatitis, hives, and infections. Alcohol abuse weakens the immune system, making it harder for the body to recover from an infection or wound. Hives may indicate an allergy to alcohol, and dermatitis shows up more frequently among alcohol abusers. The risk of skin cancer increases with chronic alcohol abuse, although researchers are not exactly sure why.

If you or someone you love is suffering from the effects of alcohol abuse, substance addiction or any other type of addiction, please call us today.  Substance abuse counseling can help you deal with physical, emotional and psychological consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.

A substance abuse treatment program is effective, safe and has helped many men reclaim their lives. Destination Hope is a full service drug, alcohol and dual diagnosis treatment facility in Florida for men suffering from substance abuse and mental health issues.

Give us a call

Help is one step away

100% Confidential | 24/7 Helpline

Addiction & Mental Health Topics

Is Buprenorphine the Same as Suboxone?

What is Subutex?

How Does Mental Health Affect Addiction?

How to Stop DPH Abuse

How to Stop Binge Drinking: A Comprehensive Guide

What is Pink Cocaine?

Signs of Cocaine Use

Is Valium Addictive?

Is Vyvanse Addictive?

Can You Drink on Prednisone? Understanding the Risks