Puffiness and Bloating
A night of drinking might make you feel swollen all over. Alcohol dehydrates your body, which could make your eyes puffy. Be sure to drink plenty of water during the day to stay hydrated. Alcohol also can irritate your stomach lining. That may lead to a swollen, bloated belly. The solution: Drink less booze, more water, and try an over-the-counter bloating remedy.
If your face flushes when you drink, you may have some degree of rosacea. This common skin condition causes your face — especially your cheeks, nose, chin, and forehead — to turn red. Drinking alcohol can sometimes trigger a rosacea flare. Some studies show alcohol might raise your odds of getting rosacea if you don’t already have it.
Alcohol might make you drowsy and help you fall asleep faster, but you may not stay that way. It breaks up your normal sleep rhythms and can make you restless throughout the night. That often leads to dark circles under your eyes. Cold compresses should help, but the best answer is a good night’s sleep. Try to get at least 7 hours a night.
An enzyme issue can turn your cheeks rosy after you drink. ALDH2 is the enzyme that breaks down alcohol’s toxic compound. When it isn’t working right, the toxins stay in your cells, which leads to warmth and flushing. It’s a genetic issue that’s more likely to affect people from Asian backgrounds.
These red, itchy skin bumps might show up when you drink. They can affect just one body part or pop up all over. Sometimes they’re a symptom of alcohol intolerance, meaning your body can’t break down alcohol well. They may also result from an allergic reaction to an ingredient in alcohol. Hives could last a few minutes or a few days. Treat them with cool compresses and over-the-counter antihistamines.
Heavy drinking can make you more likely to get cellulitis, a bacterial skin infection that usually affects your lower legs. It makes the skin there red, swollen, painful, and warm to the touch. The bacteria get into your body through a cut or wound in your skin. The infection is often serious. You’ll need to treat it with antibiotics.
For some people, sunlight causes extreme burning, blisters, and pain. This problem is often passed down in families, but alcohol use can also trigger it. Your skin may wound easily, itch, and turn red when you’re in the sun. To ease your symptoms, stop drinking and avoid direct sunlight.
Regular heavy drinking can trigger psoriasis — a condition where skin cells build up and make dry, itchy patches. It could also make an outbreak worse, especially in men. Alcohol doesn’t mix well with psoriasis treatments, either. It may make it harder for some to do their job, and it could be dangerous when mixed with others.
You might notice dandruff on your scalp or itchy patches of greasy skin on other body parts. Doctors call this skin disease seborrheic dermatitis, and it’s often a sign of immune system problems or a yeast in the body. For some people, drinking alcohol can trigger a flare-up. Over-the-counter shampoos are a good first treatment option, but you may need a prescription remedy.
Drinking alcohol is linked to cancer of the mouth, throat, voice box, and esophagus. Research shows alcohol use also may be tied to the most common types of skin cancer. Your body works to repair DNA damage caused by the sun, but alcohol can interfere with that process.