Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder, impacts an enormous swathe of the population every single day. According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, nearly 85% of individuals over the age of 18 have or will begin drinking alcohol at some point in their life. Alcohol abuse is then graded on a scale from mild to severe, with mild presenting two to three symptoms and severe presenting six or more symptoms.
Symptoms of Alcoholism Include (But Are Not Limited To):
– Compulsive Desire to Drink Despite Negative Impacts
– Engaging in Risky Behaviors After Drinking Alcohol
– Experiencing Withdrawal Symptoms
– Alcohol Consumption Interferes With Daily Life
Individuals struggling through an alcohol addiction will encounter a range of physical and mental effects. Alcoholism can be identified through several key facial characteristics, when you know how to look for them.
Let’s explore the most common facial signs of alcoholism to better understand the causes of these conditions.
Common Signs of Alcoholism: Facial Symptoms
When we consume alcohol, it begins to impact our body almost immediately. From causing dehydration to irritating our stomachs, the physical impacts become quite noticeable over time. Some of the most common facial signs of alcohol abuse include the following.
1) Dark Circles Beneath Eyes – Alcohol can make us feel sleepy and drowsy, leading to an earlier crash due to fatigue. However, alcohol does not allow us to rest normally as it disrupts our traditional sleep rhythms, leading to restlessness. Dark circles form due to a lack of quality sleep.
2) Facial Redness & Flushing – One of the simplest signs of alcoholism to assess is facial redness or flushing. Alcohol abuse can lead to enlarged blood vessels that eventually burst, reddening our face while stimulating the release of histamine. Facial redness is one of the earliest signs of alcohol abuse and, with time, can become permanent.
3) Development of Rosacea or Hives – Along the same lines as facial flushing, alcohol abuse can lead to the development of Rosacea, a skin condition that causes our T-zone, chin, and nose to turn red. Alcohol can trigger rosacea flare-ups and the introduction of alcohol can even trigger the development of the skin disorder. Individuals who are intolerant to alcohol may even see hives begin to develop as their body struggles to break down the alcohol.
4) Jaundice – Finally, alcoholism when left untreated can lead to the development of jaundice. Associated with alcohol abuse, jaundice is commonly identified when the eyes of an individual turn yellow, closely followed by skin darkening around the legs, mouth, and eyes. Jaundice develops in conjunction with chronic liver disease and since alcohol is enormously harmful to your liver, the two are innately linked.
5) Skin Cancer – Finally, consuming alcohol has been scientifically linked to the development of cancer in the mouth, voice box, esophagus, and throat. Alcohol interferes with the work your body must do to repair DNA damage caused by exposure to the sun.
Alcoholism impacts millions of people around the world every day. Dealing with substance abuse doesn’t have to be a task you handle alone. Consider reaching out to a treatment helpline to take back control of your life!