How Alcoholism Ages Your Body Inside and Out

Content medically reviewed by Vicky Magobet, PMHNP-BC, on July 15, 2020.

Alcoholism is the inability to control or properly manage drinking habits, also known as alcohol use disorder. Most people understand the severity of this disorder, but not everyone knows exactly how alcoholism impacts the body.

The impact of alcoholism is both shocking and dangerous. From cosmetic damages like wrinkles and dark circles to more serious effects like liver disease and pancreatitis, alcoholism comes with a number of hard-hitting side effects that can permanently harm the body.

How Alcohol Ages You Externally

Alcoholism greatly impacts your body externally, meaning you can physically see the effects. Alcohol mainly affects the skin, causing potentially irreversible damage to the face. Excessive alcohol use can dehydrate the skin, resulting in noticeable wrinkles, age lines and dark eye circles. If your skin is naturally dry, these damaging effects will have an even more substantial impact.

Heavy drinking can also cause skin flushing, which may result in capillary dilation over time. When the blood vessels dilate to a certain point, they can burst, creating prominent veins in the face. Broken blood vessels cannot be restored naturally. Many individuals require specialized treatments such as laser therapy to repair this damage.

When you drink alcohol, the sugar can also throw off the bacteria and microbes in your body. This imbalance can accentuate preexisting skin conditions such as acne, rosacea and eczema, irritating them further and causing more noticeable damage.

What Alcoholism Does to Your Body Internally

While the external impact of alcohol is unsightly, the internal damages are even more concerning. Alcoholism comes with a variety of serious health problems with long-term detrimental effects.

From the bones to the brain to your vital organs, alcoholism takes a heavy toll on many parts of the body, such as:

  • The brain: When users consume an excess of alcohol over time, they create the potential for a series of structural damages in the brain, affecting its overall function.
  • The liver: One of the most severe side effects of alcoholism is liver disease. When an individual abuses alcohol, their liver can become scarred or inflamed, resulting in a number of dangerous conditions such as fatty liver, fibrosis, hepatitis and even liver cancer.
  • The digestive system: When alcohol breaks down the stomach lining, it may create ulcers as well as nutrient deficiencies in the body.
  • The cardiovascular system: Over time, alcohol can inflict serious stress on the heart, potentially leading to high blood pressure, blood clots and an increased risk for heart attacks and strokes.
  • The reproductive system: Excessive alcohol use may cause erectile dysfunction in men and irregular menstruation in women.
  • The bones: Alcohol abuse can result in a calcium imbalance, potentially leading to osteoporosis or bone fracturing.

Pave the Road to Recovery Today

Do you think you or a loved one might be struggling with alcoholism? At Diamond House Detox, we specialize in medically monitored detoxification and co-occuring disorders while providing individualized care to everyone who walks through our doors. We offer inpatient treatment as well as Incidental Medical Services, where our in-house medical providers offer medical detoxes and injections. Our facilities also offer a safe and comfortable environment with private rooms, a chef, group therapy options and on-site support meetings.

Contact us today for more information on how you can begin paving your road to recovery.