Alcohol Face Changes: Does Drinking Change Your Appearance?

Alcohol is a substance that can have serious side effects on the body and mind, especially when consumed in large amounts or consistently over a long period of time. And one of the lesser-known side effects is alcohol face changes. These changes in the face, skin, and overall physical appearance can sometimes be long-lasting and leave you feeling self-conscious.

If you are a heavy drinker and you have noticed a difference in your skin while you drink or afterward, you might be going through alcohol face changes. Below, we’ll describe the reasons why alcohol face changes occur as well as what you can do to feel like your old self again.

What Does Alcohol Do to the Body?

What Does Alcohol Do to the Body?

Before we can truly look into the way that alcohol impacts the face and skin specifically, we must first acknowledge all of the significant impacts that alcohol has on the body. In addition to causing intoxication, studies show that alcohol can also cause permanent changes to the brain, skin, liver, and other organs throughout the body.

Common physical side effects from prolonged or chronic drinking include:

  • Memory loss
  • Brain damage
  • High blood pressure
  • Liver failure
  • Heart disease
  • Increased risk of cancer

Alcohol doesn’t just impact the body physically, either. Alcohol can also alter emotions and worsen pre-existing mental health conditions. As a result, mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, and even hallucinations or delusions can become substantially worse when alcohol is added to the equation.


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What Are Common Alcohol Face Changes?

Regardless of the type of alcohol you might consume, the fact is that alcoholic beverages contain mood-altering chemicals that work to make changes throughout the body. One of the immediate effects of alcohol on the face would be getting flushed or turning red. Many people get a red blotchy face after drinking alcohol—even to the extent where others can tell if you are intoxicated just by looking at your flushed, warm skin.

In a lot of these cases, having a red face from alcohol goes away once you sober up or sleep off the night of partying. However, there are instances where alcohol-related face changes don’t go away so easily. This usually happens in situations of heavy, chronic drinking, otherwise known as alcoholism.

For people who struggle with an addiction to alcohol, the alcohol face changes usually are trickier to deal with. The reason why this happens is because alcohol changes the way that the blood vessels in the body function. Alcohol causes blood vessels to expand and constrict, therefore pumping blood to areas where the skin is thinner, like the face. This can lead to red, ruddy cheeks.

Additionally, alcohol naturally causes swelling. Thus, alcohol face bloat occurs. Having a puffy face from alcohol is more than just a cosmetic or appearance issue, though that can certainly harm your self-esteem. These types of permanent alcohol face changes can actually change the skin’s texture and feeling.

Alcoholic nose, for example, is one of the alcohol-related face changes that can result in serious, long-lasting dermatological concerns. Alcohol can also trigger a flare of rosacea. Both of these conditions can leave you with skin that is:

  • Red
  • Irritated
  • Itchy
  • Painful
  • Swollen

Unfortunately, these conditions and these symptoms cannot be easily cured. In fact, sometimes a red face after drinking can indicate much more severe issues ahead. The best way to approach clearing up your alcohol-related face changes is to quit drinking for good. This means  finding a treatment program that will help you with all of the physical and emotional side effects of alcoholism.

Treatment for Alcohol Face Changes

Treatment for Alcohol Face Changes

Treatment options such as individualized therapy, trauma-informed care, group counseling, and more can all assist you in the battle against alcohol addiction. Moreover, some recovery programs are catered specifically for certain populations that are at a higher risk for developing addiction, such as service members or veterans.

Not to mention that residential rehab programs can sometimes provide complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapies. These combine physical movement with emotional healing. Treatments such as yoga, qi gong, and tai chi can not only help you to become healthier but these can also help you to feel like the best version of yourself. Regaining confidence after alcohol face changes can be challenging, but it is possible with the right support.

Find Healing at the Victorious Journey Recovery Center

To begin the process of healing from alcohol face changes and all the other side effects that stem from an addiction to alcohol, reach out to the Victorious Journey Recovery Center. Ask our admissions specialists your questions at 888-828-2623 or by submitting a confidential contact form. We’re here to help you take the steps toward a healthier, happier life, one day at a time.

Alcohol can significantly change your physical appearance, especially in areas of the body where the skin is thinner, such as the face. For many people, alcohol makes the face turn red. Additionally, alcohol can alter the appearance of the face by causing sensitive, bumpy skin that sometimes requires medical attention.

Heather Ware

Heather is a content writer from Ohio who has a sincere passion for psychology and addiction recovery. Her areas of interest include alcoholism, depression, and recovery options, to name a few.

Alcohol encourages blood vessels to constrict and expand. The blood then rushes to areas where the skin is thinner. This results in a red face, skin changes, and other short- and long-term side effects.

Heather Ware

Heather is a content writer from Ohio who has a sincere passion for psychology and addiction recovery. Her areas of interest include alcoholism, depression, and recovery options, to name a few.

In short, the answer depends on your particular situation. When it comes to occasional drinking, getting a flushed face after consuming alcohol is usually not that big of a deal and it goes away once you sober up. However, alcohol face changes can be more permanent because of how the skin and the body has been damaged by chronic drinking.

Heather Ware

Heather is a content writer from Ohio who has a sincere passion for psychology and addiction recovery. Her areas of interest include alcoholism, depression, and recovery options, to name a few.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drinking four to five drinks in one sitting is considered binge drinking. Moreover, consistently drinking between eight and 15 alcoholic beverages per week puts somebody at risk for alcoholism. Other factors that contribute to an addiction to alcohol would be having withdrawal symptoms whenever you are not drinking, using alcohol to cope with emotional distress, and having frequent failed attempts to stop drinking.

Heather Ware

Heather is a content writer from Ohio who has a sincere passion for psychology and addiction recovery. Her areas of interest include alcoholism, depression, and recovery options, to name a few.

Victorious Journey Recovery Center

Located in dynamic Las Vegas, Nevada, the Victorious Journey Recovery Center (VJRC) a 44-bed facility is run by a skilled multi-disciplinary team of medical and behavioral health professionals that includes nurses, counselors, and doctors, along with complementary and alternative medicine specialists to provide our clients with a transformational experience that encompasses mind, body, and spirit. Our approach is holistic and grounded in research and evidenced-based best practices that help people develop the awareness and skills required to achieve and sustain recovery.

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