Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Is drinking bad for your skin?"
Just turned 21 and have been drinking pretty heavily over the last year or so. My skin has become really bad, with pimples and dryness too. Is drinking causing this? Is alcohol bad for your skin?
Drinking alcohol does not directly cause acne. However, heavy alcohol use may alter the levels of hormones in your blood stream, which could impact the development of acne. Further more, alcohol is a dehydrating to your body, so frequent heavy alcohol use could make your skin seem dry. Also, many people who drink heavily have vitamin deficiencies; some of these vitamin deficiencies may also have an impact on the way the skin looks. More important than the issues with your skin by far is the overall issue of your heavy drinking. Alcohol consumption in excess is one of the most dangerous health habits, and can lead to major problems with your liver, your heart, your brain, and other vital organs as well. It sounds like your drinking has gotten to the point where it is a problem. I would therefore recommend that you make an appointment to see your primary care doctor to discuss this issue. Your doctor can make an overall assessment of whether your alcohol intake has damaged your health and then they can help set you up with counseling, psychiatry, and other services to help you cut down or quit altogether your dangerous level of alcohol consumption.