Is Alcohol Bad For Your Skin?
We all enjoy a fine glass of wine every once in a while, and that by itself is not a bad thing. It only becomes a problem when we are enjoying too much wine too often. Most people know that alcohol is bad for your liver in high quantities, but it can be bad for other organs as well. One of the most commonly overlooked organs is the only one you can see, and that’s the skin. Too much alcohol can affect your skin in many negative ways.
“There are a few ways that alcohol can lead to drier skin that looks and feels older than it is,” notes Lesley Ott, a certified nurse practitioner at Sanova Dermatology – Baton Rouge in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. First and foremost, alcohol dehydrates you, which deprives your skin of the moisture it needs. It also constricts your blood vessels making it harder for oxygenated blood to get to the skin — this deprivation leads to dry skin.
Although a little redness in your skin isn’t anything to worry about, it can be a sign that alcohol is harming your body. Excessively red palms or cheeks may be a sign of damage to your organs or the capillaries under the skin. While most of it is reversible, you don’t want to drink enough to put yourself in the position to need to reverse it.
3. Vitamin Depletion
Alcohol makes it harder for you to absorb vitamins, which can do a number on your skin over time. “A lack of vitamins can lead to drier, more fragile skin, but it can also weaken the capillaries under the skin, making it easier for you to bruise,” Ott informs. A lack of certain vitamins also slows your body’s ability to repair itself so that the bruises will stay longer.
4. Increased Acne
Your liver is responsible for cleaning up the toxins in your body and expelling them through waste. The problem is that if it is too busy cleaning up the toxins you put in your body through alcohol consumption, it can’t get to all the other toxins we come in contact with daily. “This means that those toxins stay around in and on your body and cause acne flare-ups and other blemishes,” says Ott.
5. Skin Cancer
Research suggests that excessive alcohol consumption increases the risk of many types of cancer, but one surprising one is that it increases the risk of certain skin cancers by almost double. One prevailing theory is that alcohol interferes with your body’s ability to repair damage caused to the skin by the sun.
“It’s not all bad news though some studies suggest that a glass of red wine now and then is actually good for your skin thanks to the polyphenols from the grapes,” emphasizes Ott. Of course, there are other safer ways to give your skin a boost, and alcohol does a lot more harm than good.
If you have concerns about your skin or questions about preventative measures, don’t hesitate to contact us as soon as possible.
About Lesley Ott, FNP-C
Lesley is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and is licensed through the Louisiana State Board of Nursing. She has a long history working in healthcare, receiving degrees as a Licensed Practical Nurse in 2011, Bachelors of Science in Nursing in 2015, and Masters of Science in Nursing in 2020.
Lesley has almost 5 years of dermatology experience working as a Registered Nurse at Sanova Dermatology. Her experience includes working with medical and cosmetic dermatology patients and Mohs surgical patients. Her passion for connecting with and educating patients on prevention and treatment is a driving factor in her current practice. She is accepting new dermatology patients of all ages. Lesley is excited to be a part of your journey to achieve healthy skin, hair, and nails.