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Is Drinking Alcohol Bad for Your Skin?

During family gatherings and social events, you can expect alcohol to be served because people often have the notion that alcohol is an important icebreaker, boosting people’s emotions and enhancing social bonding.

During festive seasons, especially Christmas and new year, it’s often one alcohol laden event after another. Before you know it, you are probably drinking more than you should.

It is common knowledge that drinking too much alcohol is bad for your health, especially your liver. Have you ever wondered what effects all these wines and cocktails have on your skin?

If your face flushes easily, you might want to read on to find out more.

Alcohol dehydrates your skin

Drinking too much alcohol is bad for your skin. It has very little nutritional value and can potentially disrupt your hormones, immunity and causes inflammation in your body.

What most people don’t know is that alcohol is a diuretic. This means that your body loses a lot of water when your drink alcohol. It causes your body to remove fluids from your blood via your renal system. That is why whenever you drink alcohol, you tend to pass out more fluid than usual.

So if you don’t drink enough water to replace the fluids, you can become dehydrated very quickly.

Over time, the dehydration of your body can affect the skin causing wrinkles and pores to become more visible. Your skin will lose its natural glow and plumpness that is associated with youthful appearance.

Alcohol triggers rosacea flare-ups

According to a study published in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology in 2017, increased consumption of alcohol, particularly white wine and liquor, is closely linked to a higher risk of rosacea in women. In this particular study, it was found that:

  • Risk of developing rosacea increases with the amount of alcohol consumed
  • Women who drank white wine and liquor in particular had a greater risk of developing rosacea

Doctors believe that alcohol in the bloodstream weakens the immune system and dilates blood vessels. These likely contribute to the redness and flushing of the face that is closely associated with rosacea.

While this study seems to find an association between drinking alcohol and developing rosacea, more studies are needed to confirm this finding and also why certain types of alcohol have an increased risk of developing rosacea.

Alcohol and risk of developing skin cancer

It is not uncommon to associate alcohol with skin cancer because many people often develop flushing, skin redness, and itch when they drink alcohol. Such symptoms lead people to ask whether there is any association between drinking alcohol and skin cancer.

The simplified answer to that is that alcohol may increase risk of skin cancer.

Many studies have been conducted to answer this question but there was no clear, definitive answer. However, if we put the results of these studies together, we may notice a pattern and researchers noticed that alcohol intake was associated with the development of basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma.

One such studies cited that there was a 7 percent increased risk of basal cell carcinoma and 11 percent increased risk of squamous cell carcinoma for every 10-gram increase in alcohol each day. Another separate study also found a 20 percent increase in developing melanoma in people who consumed alcohol.

Doctors believe that drinking alcohol can interfere with the skin’s ability to repair DNA when the UV rays alters the DNA in the skin. Eventually, it can lead to skin cancer. Some studies have also shown that white wine has a higher association of formation of skin cancer because there is little or no antioxidants in white wine.

Acne breakouts

Alcohol is usually high in sugar. This is especially true in white wine and cocktails. If you are drinking alcohol too often, the high sugar levels in your blood may cause inflammation in your body, leading to acne breakouts.

Although there is little study to show the association between drinking alcohol and acne breakout, it affects the body system such as your hormones and increased blood sugar level, all of which can directly influence acne development.

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