alcohol and aging

Does Alcohol Make You Look Older?

From time to time, most people enjoy an alcoholic beverage. However, alcohol abuse is known to bring negative health effects. For example, it can lead to liver damage, cancer, immune disorders, and brain damage. Also, it may worsen pre-existing conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. Besides a person’s health, drinking alcohol can have other negative effects on his or her body. Does alcohol age your appearance? Here is a closer look at how a person’s looks suffer from excessive alcohol consumption.

Alcohol and Aging: What are the Effects of Alcohol on the Appearance?

Alcohol affects every part of the body. Furthermore, chronic heavy drinking often causes extreme damage to internal organs. In fact, one study uncovered that alcohol makes the body age at the cellular level, which heightens the risks for developing age-related illnesses. Also, alcohol can damage the liver, which is responsible for the detoxification of the body. When this occurs, premature aging results and has vast negative effects on a person’s appearance.

Effects of Alcohol on Skin and Aging

Excessive drinking can wreak havoc on a person’s skin. Since alcohol depletes levels of vitamins, (especially vitamin A) the skin’s collagen levels plummet. As a result, a person’s skin may lose all elasticity and become wrinkled. Wrinkles may be caused by alcohol’s ability to dehydrate the skin as well.

Markedly, most heavy drinkers experience puffy and red faces. Alcohol is a vasodilator. In other words, it expands blood vessels. Drinking alcohol on a regular basis leads to widened blood vessels in the face. With time, this leads to loss of skin tone and a permanent red color. Spider veins may appear as well. Also, a person may have heightened risks of developing skin infections.

Lack of Sleep

Alcohol can cause a lack of rest from a depleted sleep cycle. This leads to puffy eyes or bags. This makes a person appear old and tired. Usually, alcohol makes a person toss and turn during the night. In other words, a person suffers from poor quality of sleep. Without being able to enjoy deep sleep, which is known to restore health, a person will look and feel much older than his or her actual age.

How Excessive Alcohol Consumption Ages the Mind and Body

Again, alcohol affects the skin and can cause negative deterioration of various internal systems. When a person becomes a chronic drinker, the habit takes a toll on multiple organs within the body. This leads to intangible aging. By the time a person uncovers a problem, it may be too late. In fact, permanent damage may even lead to fatality.

  • Heart. Heavy drinking on a regular basis causes high blood pressure and an irregular heartbeat. Also, it places an individual at high risk for a stroke.
  • Liver. Steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis are all conditions of the liver that are caused by over-drinking. As a result, a person may experience fatal consequences.
  • Pancreas. When a drinking problem is present in a person’s life, it can cause harm to his or her pancreas. When this organ becomes swollen and inflamed, serious complications occur.
  • Brain. In fact, premature dementia is related to alcohol-related brain damage. Through investigation, it has been shown that excessive drinking can cause a person’s brain to shrink and deteriorate.

Does Alcohol Age Your Appearance in Other Ways?

Besides the negative effects of alcohol on skin and aging, drinking excessive amounts of alcohol on a regular basis has other aging effects on a person’s body.

Alcohol Affects a Person’s Weight

Most alcoholic beverages are extremely high in empty calories, sugar, and carbohydrates. When heavy drinking occurs, means that weight gain is likely. Also, alcohol raises insulin levels, which makes the body store more fat in the stomach area.

Next, alcohol increase a person’s appetite. Research conducted at the University of Liverpool found that individuals who drink alcohol regularly throughout the day are attracted to salty and fatty foods. This may be explained by a shift in hormones, especially leptin. Leptin regulates the appetite. It was uncovered that leptin levels decrease by half after a person consumes large amounts of alcohol.

Alcohol Affects a Person’s Hair

Although it is common for a person to lose a few hairs each day, excessive drinking can cause severe hair loss. In fact, there is no direct link between alcohol consumption hair loss. However, scientists believe that drinking heavily may lead to nutritional deficiencies or hormonal problems that affect a person’s hair. For example, too much alcohol in the body may prevent the absorption of zinc, copper, and protein. Scientific studies have shown that low protein can cause a multitude of skin, hair, and nail problems. Drinking in excess may cause thyroid issues as well. This can lead to thinning hair.

Alcohol Binges Lead to Poor Hygiene

When a person drinks large amounts of alcohol, it is easy to make poor decisions. He or she may stuff themselves with food or simply pass out in bed at the end of the night. In the moment, it becomes easy to forget to practice a normal hygiene routine. For instance, a person may forget to wash their face or brush their teeth. Habitual actions like these will lead to cavities, acne, and similar issues. All these problems will cause a person to appear older.

Alcohol and Body Odor

Besides physical appearance, most individuals are conscious about the way that they smell. Between deodorant and cologne, most people go out of their way to have a pleasing scent. Unfortunately, a night of heavy drinking can leave a person sweaty and odorous. The Institute of Alcohol Studies reports that 10% of alcohol leaves the body by sweating, breathing, and urinating. In other words, after a night of heavy drinking, a person will suffer from bad breath, smelly urine, and body odor. Typically, this is not part of the appearance of a young and healthy person.

Other Ways that Alcohol Impacts Aging

Along with a person’s exterior weight and skin, there are other aging issues that are related to excessive drinking. In particular, the brain takes a hit from alcohol. It becomes difficult to plan, pay attention, remember information, and learn. Excessive alcohol use increases free radicals in the body and causes sleep disruptions, which can lead to poor cognitive function.

How Alcohol Changes the Aging Process

When doctors consider the way that drinking large amounts of alcohol affects the body’s aging process, they have come to a few conclusions. First, medical professionals explain that early signs of aging stem from the fact that alcohol speeds the release of stress hormones in the body. Next, alcohol harms various organs, especially the liver. This disrupts the body’s chemical balance. As a result, premature aging occurs.

Are the Effects of Alcohol and Aging Reversible?

Once a person has identified a problem and wants treatment, it may be possible to reverse certain signs of aging that come from abusing alcohol. It is advised to eat a balanced diet so that adequate nutrition returns to the body. Also, it is essential to drink plenty of water so that dehydration is no longer an issue. Finally, it is essential to visit a medical professional so that tests can be run to examine certain organs and systems. For example, if a person experiences hair loss for a thyroid problem caused by drinking, this issue may be resolved when alcohol abuse ends.

About Alcohol Addiction

Obviously, the smartest way to prevent aging from alcohol consumption is by lowering daily intake. Also, a person may totally stop drinking. However, when a person has a preoccupation with alcohol, he or she may lose control and have the inability to stop. This person may develop a tolerance, which means that he or she must drink more and more to get the same pleasing effects. When addiction occurs, alcohol interferes with work and social interactions. In fact, a person may experience relationship problems with friends and family. Also, a person with a misuse disorder may experience early signs of aging on his or her body.

Seeking Help From a Trusted Rehab Facility

When a person suspects a problem with alcohol, it is essential to seek help. With assistance and support, it is possible to return to a sober life and to enjoy a more youthful appearance. When a person’s body is rid of toxins from alcohol, he or she will have better skin, healthier hair and nails, and a younger complexion. Weight loss may occur as well.

At North Jersey Recovery Center in Fair Lawn, New Jersey, we offer various therapies so that a patient can enjoy a successful recovery from alcohol misuse. After a person becomes sober and learns ways to live healthier, he or she will notice an improved appearance. To take the first step in the right direction, contact us today.