How To Spot An Alcoholic Face – 13 SIGNS to Watch Out For

The following signs on the face reveal a person to be an alcoholic:

  • Bloated and puffy face
  • A yellow skin tone
  • Bloats in the stomach due to the dehydrating effects of alcohol
  • An increase in the tiny blood vessels in the eyes. That forces more blood to flow through them, leaving them looking bloodshot
  • Dark circles around the eyes are caused by frequent disruption of sleep.
  • Redness in the face especially the cheeks and nose

How To Spot An Alcoholic Face

What are the Physical Signs Of Alcoholism?

Alcoholism occurs when a person loses control over their drinking habits, despite it causing potential harm.

As the alcoholic becomes more and more dependent on it, they acquire and consume more alcohol prioritizing it over every other thing in their life.

This then progresses and causes their body to adapt; causing it to build tolerance, meaning that they will need increasing amounts of alcohol intake to feel its effects.

It also causes physical dependency where withdrawal symptoms are experienced if the person tries to cut down or stop drinking.

The physical symptoms of alcoholism can vary between alcohol addicts, but there are some side effects nearly every alcoholic will experience and they include:

  • Disheveled Appearance

Yes, you heard that right.

Personal hygiene and grooming may begin to take less and less priority.

The alcoholic may also have tired eyes and poor skin as a result of lack of sufficient sleep and dehydration, which are vivid signs of heavy alcohol use.

They may smell of alcohol from the previous night or have had an ‘eye opener’ to keep physical withdrawal symptoms at bay in the morning.

  • Either Gaining or Losing weight Rapidly

Alcoholism can negatively influence a person’s diet and appetite.

They may lose feelings of timely hunger or no longer have the desire to consume healthy meals, as their focus shifts to booze.

Alternatively, they begin to crave junk or unhealthy foods rich in fat as the alcohol in their system produces the hunger-increasing hormone galanin.

  • Redness in the Face, Especially the Nose and Cheeks

Alcohol causes enlarged blood vessels. This becomes noticeable on the face – it gets red in the beginning stages.

Eventually, these vessels over-dilate and if that happens, it leads to spider veins on the skin.

  • Having Repeated Infections and Skin Sores (Abscesses)

Alcohol impairs the immune system; this leaves you at greater risk of infections.

As alcohol dries the skin – our natural defense against pathogens.

This has proven to lead to repeated skin infections.

  • Upset Stomach or Having a Sore

Having an upset stomach or a sore throat as an alcoholic can cause to develop erosive gastritis, as the stomach lining wears away.

This will lead to bleeding of the stomach.

  • Feel Numbness and Tingling in Feet or Hands

Alcoholics feel unsteady on their feet or hands as the effect of the drink kicks in/

As the drink gets into their system, the part of the brain that controls balance and coordination can deteriorate under the influence of alcohol.

This increases the risk of accidents and falls occurring even when sober.

  • Injuries and Bruises

Unexplained scrapes and bruises may be seen in certain areas of an alcoholic face.

Areas such as the forehead, chin, knee, chest, and shoulders are common places that suffer.

Alcohol in the system can reduce platelet counts and other clotting factors, making them more likely to bruise.

More seriously, this reduced clotting leads to an increased risk of stroke.

  • Liver Problems Like Cirrhosis

Alcoholism can trigger liver issues including cirrhosis, hepatitis, and fatty liver.

Fatty liver is caused by fat buildup in liver cells. This then progresses to become alcohol hepatitis, which is the inflammation of the liver.

Alcohol hepatitis can lead to liver failure and can also slowly result in organ damage.

The organ damage then turns into Alcohol hepatitis and cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is when normal liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue, which causes the liver to lose its ability to function well.

  • A Yellow Skin Tone

Jaundice is a physical sign of liver problems, where the skin takes on a yellowish-brown tone as it fails to process certain particles in the body.

Withdrawal Symptoms

If alcohol is withheld, an alcoholic may suffer signs of alcohol withdrawal which include:

  • Nausea
  • Tremors
  • Sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures, and even
  • Unsteadiness

Treatment for Alcoholism

It is great that you know the cause of your problem and are looking to get help.

Talk to your doctors, family, and friends. They’d be happy to help support you on your recovery journey.

Author: Dr. Janet Hicks

Dr. Janet Hicks is an addiction medicine physician trained and certified to provide comprehensive care for addiction and substance-related disorders, including the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of such health conditions. With more than 25 years of experience, Doctor Janet Hicks helps you by providing all information required to educate yourself about substance detox and recovery.

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