How Does Alcohol Affect Your Skin?

This enzyme helps break down acetaldehyde, a toxic substance produced when your body breaks down alcohol. Alcohol triggers inflammation throughout the body, including the skin. It can also cause your blood vessels to dilate or even break, giving your face a redder appearance even when you aren’t drinking. Alcohol can even cause or increase the appearance of spider veins on your face, and worsen conditions like rosacea.

If you have rosacea, the best thing you can do is to cut out alcohol and other drinks or foods that can trigger flare-ups. The general belief is that this disease may result from a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Stress, anxiety, extreme temperatures, and certain medications may worsen your symptoms. While the red flush itself is not acutely dangerous, people who get it are at higher risk of high blood pressure and other health problems. When a genetic change affects this enzyme, it doesn’t do its job.

Red Face From Drinking a Sign of Alcohol Intolerance

Esophageal cancer is one of the deadliest cancers in the world, with very low survival rates. It doesn’t happen to everyone, but for some people, going out and having drinks results in a deeply flushed face. Because their bodies are not fully able to process the alcohol they consume, so an alcohol-related chemical called acetaldehyde builds up in their bodies.

red face alcoholism

Although anyone can lack this gene, it is more common for people from East Asia not to have it. Talk to your doctor if you think you might have an ALDH2 deficiency. Tests are available to confirm that you have the altered gene. WHO says that alcohol is a “causal factor” in more than 200 diseases and injuries.

Does Your Face Turn Red When You Drink? Here’s Why

There is also evidence that drinking alcohol increases the risk for prostate cancer. All alcoholic drinks, including red and white wine, beer, and liquor, are linked with cancer. It’s a condition called “alcohol flush reaction.” Side effects include flushed skin, nausea, headache, and rapid heart beat.

What skin condition do alcoholics have?

Chronic alcohol consumption can lead to various skin problems, from minor issues such as dryness and flushing to more serious conditions such as acne, eczema, and even skin cancer. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is critical in protecting us from the environment.

The second study also found a connection between drinking and rosacea. In this study, researchers compared data from 60,042 patients who had rosacea with 60,042 patients who did not have rosacea. Again, drinking slightly increased the risk of getting rosacea. As though this wasn’t bad enough, there’s one more distressing part to this story that involves the drug disulfiram, commonly brand named Antabuse.

Alcohol’s Devastating Effects—The Elephant in the Room

To determine if you have alcoholic liver disease your doctor will probably test your blood, take a biopsy of the liver, and do a liver function test. You should also have other tests to rule out other diseases that could be causing your symptoms. Your symptoms may vary depending upon the severity of your disease. Usually, symptoms are worse after a recent period of heavy drinking. In fact, you may not even have symptoms until the disease is pretty advanced. Generally, symptoms of alcoholic liver disease include abdominal pain and tenderness, dry mouth and increased thirst, fatigue, jaundice (which is yellowing of the skin), loss of appetite, and nausea.

  • Rosacea is a chronic skin condition that causes redness and/or small, red bumps on the face.
  • A person who is allergic to wheat might have skin reactions only after consuming alcohol that is made with wheat, such as beer.
  • The symptoms might be very mild for an amount of time and then the cycle is repeated again.
  • Alcoholic liver disease is treatable if it is caught before it causes severe damage.

You might also eat and drink more slowly, get regular exercise, and limit salty foods. As a result, your skin and organs try to hold on to as much water as possible, creating a puffy appearance. This is commonly known as edema, and it can often affect your appearance the morning after. Read on to learn how and why alcohol damages your physical appearance, and what you can do about it. “Red wine found top alcohol trigger for conspicuous facial condition.” News release issued February 11, 2004.


When it isn’t working right, the toxins stay in your cells, which leads to warmth and flushing. It’s a genetic issue that’s more likely to affect people from Asian backgrounds. Another impact that alcoholism has on the skin is that individuals who drink heavily are more prone to infections. Even just a single drink reduces immune function, which can become worse when you drink regularly, placing you at risk of skin infections.

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