Does Alcohol Cause Acne?

There are so many ways alcohol can affect nearly every part of your body, your life and ultimately your appearance. Often the effects of alcohol abuse, whether it was binging the night before, or chronic, heavy alcohol use, can be apparent to the people around you not only through your behaviors but also through how you look.

One specific area is with alcohol and acne. Does alcohol cause acne? It’s possible, and this just one of the effects of drinking on your skin.

Below we’ll explore the relationship and links between alcohol and acne, and answer “does alcohol cause acne?”

Alcohol and Acne | Does Alcohol Cause Acne?
Before going into the specifics of alcohol and acne, it’s helpful to look at how alcohol affects your skin in general.

Alcohol is classified as a hepatotoxin, which is just a fancy way of saying it causes damage to the liver and ultimately when you’re drinking you’re exposing your body to something that damages the cells responsible for detoxification throughout your body.

Alcohol also contains a substance called congeners, which are chemicals created during fermentation, and these substances which cause hangovers can also impact how you look.

If the toxic elements of alcohol weren’t enough, it also dehydrates you, and this includes your skin. You may notice when you wake up following a night of heavy drinking that your skin looks dry, less plump and just more haggard, to put it simply.

If you drink more than two drinks a day, you can probably bet on damage to your skin. You’re taking the fluid out of your skin, and that means your wrinkles and imperfections are going to be more obvious.

Alcohol also causes inflammation, which can lead to redness of the skin. If you are a long-term heavy drinker that temporary redness can become a permanent feature of your skin.

So what about alcohol and acne? Does alcohol cause acne?

In short, the answer is yes at least it can over time, and while it might not be an immediate effect following one night of heavy drinking, it is a definite possibility that increases with the more and the longer you drink.

Having acne may be the result of things that are out of your control such as genetics, but environmental and lifestyle factors also influence whether or not you develop acne, including your diet.

Anything you’re consuming can contribute to acne, and this includes alcohol.

Alcohol and acne often go hand-in-hand because it can change your hormones. When there’s an imbalance in your levels of testosterone or estrogen, it’s been linked to causing acne. Hormones are one of the primary contributors to how our skin looks, and whether you’re a man or a woman, your estrogen and testosterone levels are likely to be imbalanced and changed following drinking.

As an example, when you drink and your testosterone levels go up, your body starts producing more androgens, and these hormones create something called sebum. Sebum is oily and can clog your pores and contribute to acne.

Another way alcohol and acne may be related is via the immune system. When you drink, even just one night of binging, it can wreak havoc on your immune system. Research has shown that drinking can cause your immune system to need to work harder to protect you against things like damaging bacteria, and so it may be easier for your body to develop acne when your immune response is down.

Alcohol and acne may also be correlated because of stress. When you drink, it raises your stress hormone levels like cortisol and stress can put even more pressure on your immune system and then lead to skin that’s broken out.

What about the relationship between alcohol and acne because of sugar?

Sugar is found in high levels in alcohol on its own, and then if you’re having mixed drinks the sugar becomes excessively high. Sugar leads to inflammation throughout the body, which can show up on the skin.

As your blood sugar levels rise your body starts to produce more insulin, and this triggers hormonal responses that are then related to acne.

Alcohol and acne can be correlated because of an overgrowth of candida as well, which is a fungus found in very sugary food and drinks. When you have too much candida in your body, it can lead to blemishes and skin problems.

Excessive alcohol consumption can impact pretty much every part of your body, but the area that perhaps feels the most damaging effects of alcohol is the liver. The liver is also responsible for filtering out toxins, so when your liver is working overtime because of excessive drinking, it’s not going to be as adept at getting rid of those toxins.

Toxins can then lead to a rise in skin problems, including acne.

So, does alcohol cause acne?

Alcohol might not directly cause acne, but it does impact all your body’s systems in a way that can make you more susceptible to not only acne but other skin problems.

Of course, a few drinks here and there doesn’t mean you’re going to get acne, but excessive drinking can quickly show up in your outer appearance.

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