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What Alcohol Does to Your Skin

What Alcohol Does to Your Skin

Most people know about alcohol’s harmful effects on the body, but few realize that their alcohol addiction may also be causing skin problems like fungal infections, dry skin, and bloating. The first step to treating alcohol-related skin issues is to get sober with Banyan Treatment Centers Heartland. If your drinking continues, it will be nearly impossible to keep your skin looking its best, as regular alcohol consumption, especially high levels of alcohol consumption that contribute to alcoholism, will keep damaging your skin.

What Does Alcohol Do to Your Skin?

The exact effects of alcohol on skin will depend on individual genetics, general health, frequency and amount of alcohol consumption, as well as other variables. While some people may experience more severe skin problems as a result of drinking every day, others may experience more minor or even no effects at all. Regardless, regular drinkers may experience a variety of skin disorders that will range in severity and the negative effects that they have.


Alcohol has a number of rapid impacts on the body, including its diuretic effects, which increase urine production. Dehydration may result from this, affecting the skin's moisture content. Skin that is dehydrated frequently appears dry, flaky, and lacks suppleness.1 It's vital to remember that prolonged or chronic dehydration can cause more serious skin conditions, underscoring the importance of moderation and awareness of alcohol usage. People are advised to drink water in addition to alcoholic beverages and to moisturize their skin frequently to combat the itchy skin after drinking alcohol.


Rosacea is a chronic skin disorder that causes persistent redness, especially in the middle of the face, and is frequently made worse by drinking alcohol. Affected individuals may also develop tiny, pus-filled lumps and obvious blood vessels. Although the actual etiology of rosacea is still unknown, it is important for people with rosacea to employ caution when consuming alcoholic beverages because the dilatation of blood vessels brought on by alcohol can greatly increase its symptoms. If rosacea symptoms develop or persist, seeking professional dermatological guidance is crucial. If required, you should also think about changing your lifestyle.


While occasional or persistent drinking might affect hormonal balance and raise inflammation in the body, it may not be a primary cause of acne. This can make acne that already exists worse or promotes its growth. In order to encourage healthy skin, it is advised for those who struggle with acne to be conscious of their alcohol use and to lead a balanced lifestyle. Moderate alcohol drinking can be complemented by putting an emphasis on a diet full of nutrients that are good for the skin and by creating a regular skincare routine.


Excessive alcohol use is one of many factors that can affect psoriasis, an inflammatory disease that causes red, scaly patches on the skin. Those with a diagnosis may find an excess of red spots on the skin after drinking. Alcohol's inflammatory effects can cause the condition to develop or worsen, highlighting moderation's significance for people with psoriasis.1 The management of psoriasis can be substantially aided by consulting a doctor and looking into available treatments, especially for those who battle with triggers related to alcohol.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis

Alcohol can also affect Dermatitis Herpetiformis (DH), a skin disorder linked to gluten sensitivity. Although consumption of gluten is the primary cause of DH, alcohol, especially beer, which frequently contains gluten, can worsen symptoms in those who are sensitive. Alcohol consumption should be reduced, and gluten-free options should be chosen by those with DH to avoid flare-ups. Effective management of Dermatitis Herpetiformis may involve consulting with medical professionals regarding food and lifestyle changes.

Other skin problems alcoholics face include increased fungal infections throughout the skin.2 Alcohol can weaken your immune system, making heavy drinkers and alcoholics more susceptible to fungal infections. Alcoholics may also experience other effects like harsh sensitivity to sunlight, jaundice, rosacea, itching, scalp rash, and other vascular reactions.3 

Can Your Skin Recover From Alcohol Damage?

Indeed, your skin possesses a remarkable ability to recuperate from the effects of excessive alcohol consumption, provided you take the necessary measures to nurture its recovery. Drinking in excess can result in a variety of alcohol-related skin issues, but nevertheless, with the implementation of specific practices, you can facilitate your skin's revitalization. Foremost, it is imperative to moderate or abstain from alcohol. Replenishing lost moisture by drinking ample water and utilizing hydrating skincare products can prove invaluable. A well-rounded diet rich in essential vitamins, antioxidants, and omega-3 fatty acids also plays a pivotal role in fortifying your skin's health.

Additionally, adhering to a regular skincare regimen customized to your skin's requirements contributes to its restoration. Lastly, steering clear of excessive sun exposure, managing stress, and ensuring sufficient rest further bolster your skin's capacity to heal. By following these steps, you'll likely notice a significant improvement in your skin before and after quitting alcohol. Remember, while it may take time, with the right care and attention, your skin can regain its natural vitality and resilience.

Now that you know what alcohol does to your skin and how addiction affects your appearance, it’s time to get sober. After all, if alcoholism is wreaking so much havoc on your skin, it can be frightening to think about what it’s doing to the rest of your body. The first step in treating the problems caused by alcoholism and addiction is to find your sobriety. This can be accomplished via the alcohol addiction treatment program at our Illinois rehabs. As a part of this program, patients have access to different levels of care, ensuring each individual gets the type of attention that is best suited to their needs.

If you or a loved one is struggling with alcoholism, the dangers of this addiction are more than skin deep. Get sober with help from Banyan’s Heartland Treatment Center. Call 888-280-4763 today.


  1. NIH - Psoriasis and Alcohol
  2. NIH - Alcohol’s Effects on Health
  3. NCBI - Skin diseases in alcoholics
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.