How a person looks depends on a number of things. The food we eat, for instance, is a huge factor in our appearance. Eat healthy food, and you’ll look great. Eat junk, and watch your looks fade away. The same goes for the substances we ingest, particularly when any of those substances are of the addictive kind, like alcohol. Drinking to excess can cause a lot of health problems, but many people overlook the fact that it also takes a toll on one’s looks. Here’s how alcohol abuse can ruin your physical appearance.
Alcohol abuse can cause tired-looking eyes
Drinking at night can seriously affect your sleep. When you drink a lot of alcohol just an hour or two before bedtime, the alcohol interferes with your rapid eye movement (REM) sleep. Alcohol cuts your REM sleep cycles from six or seven to just one or two, and you go straight to deep sleep. Missing out on that usual first stage of sleep can make you wake up in the morning feeling tired, and that tiredness is clearly reflected in your eyes.
Alcohol abuse affects your skin
Beauty is indeed skin-deep, and that very skin—the largest organ in your body—takes a beating when you drink alcohol to excess. For one, alcohol dehydrates the skin along with rest of your body, and gives you drier than usual skin. Alcohol also deprives the skin of essential vitamins and nutrients, and that causes the skin to lose its elasticity and smoothness and make it sag. If the heavy drinking continues for a time, a person could suffer from acne rosacea, a skin condition that counts red bumps, persistent redness, spots filled with pus and visible blood vessels among its symptoms. Rosacea can actually lead to facial disfigurement in the long run.
Alcohol and bloating
Alcohol contains a lot of toxins, and drinking it means your body has to work extra hard to process them. The problem with this extra effort on the part of our digestive tract is that it can cause bloating. And it doesn’t just bloat your stomach; the process also makes your face look all bloated and puffy.
Alcohol abuse makes you smell
Forget your looks, because they don’t really matter anyway when you reek of alcohol. Alcoholics don’t smell good, especially when they’re suffering from a hangover. Even though the liver processes most of the alcohol you imbibe, some of it is flushed out of your body through urine, sweat, and your breath. So even if you still manage to keep on looking good after an all-night binge (which is close to impossible anyway), you will still drive people away with your stink.
Many alcoholics may not care much if they lose their jobs after violating their employers’ workplace alcohol policy, but a lot of them actually care about how they look–or smell. If you care about either or both, then cut down on your alcohol intake. Better yet, give the bottle up completely. While we know it’s not going to be easy especially when you have been drinking alcohol from an early age, many people have successfully hurdled their alcohol issues, even when they live in a country with a very strong drinking culture. If they can do it, so can you!