How Does Alcohol Affect the Aging Process?

No matter how we try to hide it, everyone shows the effects of the aging process in one way or another. While some people are blessed with excellent genetics that keeps their skin looking youthful throughout their life, some will show the natural effects of the aging process more than others. But what happens to people who have an alcohol addiction? Does alcohol affect the aging process in people, and are the effects more pronounced in alcoholics?

How Does Alcohol Affect Your Skin?

The human body represents a large and interconnected system of bones, blood vessels, synapses, and more that we do not fully understand. Different areas of these systems can affect a seemingly unrelated portion and have long-lasting effects. Your skin is our largest organ, so it stands to reason that it can feel the most impact from the various substances we consume over time.

Alcohol can have various effects on the overall look and quality of your skin, potentially speeding up the aging process. Since it’s classified as a toxin, our bodies work hard to eliminate its presence in our systems. As we continue to process it, some of the short and long-term side effects include:

Dehydration Concerns

One of the biggest physical drawbacks to disordered alcohol consumption comes in the form of dehydration. As a diuretic, it causes your body to remove fluids from your system much faster. Without supplanting the lost fluids with drinking enough water, you can become dangerously dehydrated during a night of binge drinking. A common side effect of consistent dehydration for your skin includes dryness, wrinkles, and sagging skin.

Depleting Collagen

One of the most significant elements that help our skin remain taut is the amount of collagen in your system. Its main responsibility revolves around maintaining the structural integrity of your largest organ. As these levels get depleted, it can lead to increased wrinkles, sagginess, and a generally older appearance than you would have otherwise.

Additionally, alcohol can cause dilation in your blood vessels, which can lead to a more flushed and reddened appearance on your skin.

Dull Appearance

The way that people get their healthy and radiant look has less to do with what beauty products they buy and more with the amount of vitamin A in their system. When someone abuses alcohol, it can have a noticeably negative effect on your skin’s ability to absorb this vital nutrient — leading to a pervasive dull look to your body.

Acne Coming Back With a Vengeance

Once thought to be a thing of your high school past, disordered alcohol use can potentially bring your acne back to the forefront. People who drink excessively can see an increased production of oils in their skin. You can see renewed acne breakouts when you need them the least as this production increases.

Dilating Blood Vessels

Whether it’s moderate or heavy drinking, one of the most common effects of alcohol includes blood vessel dilation. As you continue to drink, the substance makes your blood vessels expand and cause your skin to redden or become flushed. Moving from moderate drinking to a full alcohol use disorder can also cause spider veins or broken capillaries as a side effect.

These tiny blood vessels deliver much-needed oxygen throughout your body; however, drug or alcohol abuse can potentially ruin this delivery system.

Dangerous Spikes in Your Sugar Levels

There are multiple types of alcoholic drinks out there that contain a concerning amount of sugar. As a result, your insulin levels begin to spike and show signs of aging. High insulin levels in your system can prevent natural collagen production and increase the breakdown rate in your skin. The first visible signs appear on your face and neck and then move to the rest of your body.

Internal Aging

When people think of the phrase “signs of aging,” they primarily jump to outward physical signs that are immediately noticeable. However, the most concerning signs of aging are often not found externally but internally instead.

Alcohol causes bodily organs like our livers and kidneys to work harder to properly process the toxins out of our systems. The more these vital organs get put into this hyper state of use, the quicker they wear down and can potentially lead to something more serious like kidney failure or liver disease. Unchecked alcohol abuse can also lead to conditions such as cancer, immune system disorders, and potentially brain damage.

Can These Effects Be Reversed?

Depending on the side effect, you can reverse some of them or prevent further damage from occurring. Drinking plenty of water, getting enough sleep, eating a balanced diet, and protecting your skin can help stave off premature signs of aging. However, if you continue to abuse alcohol, your efforts will ultimately be in vain. Instead of trying to get sober on your own, let our alcohol addiction rehab center in Mahanoy City, PA, help.

Our substance abuse treatment services have helped countless people work through their issues, learn new coping mechanisms, and stop drinking alcohol altogether with the help of our rehabilitation and aftercare programs. If you or a loved one are suffering from alcohol addiction, we encourage you to learnb more about how Silver Pines Treatment Center can help you regain your youthful skin and get the support you need to stay sober today.

 

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