More Than Just A Hangover

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Alcohol is a constant companion on any social occasion today – be it a celebration, or even sorrow and depression.

Excess and prolonged consumption of alcohol leads to liver damage, improper functioning of the central nervous system, irregular circulatory system and an impaired endocrine system – this is a known fact. Yet, it is consumed in alarmingly large quantities across the globe. While these adverse health side effects on the human body are established, one rarely pauses to think at the impact it has on the skin and hair. Upon consumption, alcohol does not enter the digestive system, rather gets absorbed directly into the bloodstream, which in turn, has an immediate effect on the skin. Let’s take a look at how it is detrimental to one’s appearance:

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Dehydration – vasopressin is an anti-diuretic hormone secreted by the body, which regulates water retention and constricts blood vessels. Alcohol hinders the production of vasopressin, thereby causing dehydration. This dries the skin, which is consequently more prone to wrinkles.

Loss of skin glow – alcohol strips the body of essential nutrients like vitamin A, which is essential for cell repair & renewal. As a result, the skin can take a pale or grey cast. This gives the skin a dull, lifeless and sallow appearance.

Permanent redness & flushing of the face – alcohol increases blood flow and causes the blood vessels to dilate. This leads to redness and flushing. Sometimes, these blood vessels can even burst, leaving behind broken capillaries and red spots on the face. Alcohol is also known to be the main cause of Rosacea – a skin disorder identified as facial redness/acne along with burning sensations.

Bloating- dehydration due to alcohol rids the body of fluids as well as electrolytes. Thus, to conserve the body water content, it ends up storing the intake of water, which causes the tissues to swell. This gives the face a bloated look.

Bloodshot eyes – this is a common sight after a few drinks. Increased dilation and blow flow in capillaries can not only affect the face, but also the eyes. Burst capillaries under the surface of the eyes cause bloodshot eyes. In severe cases, it can also lead to eyesight impairment and possible blindness, since the body is robbed off vital nutrients required for optimum eye health.

Dry, rough mane – the dehydrating effects of alcohol are not only limited to the skin. It also affects the health of one’s hair, making them dry, brittle and weak. Consequently, hair breaks frequently and results in split ends. Excess dryness in the body can also trigger a zinc deficiency which is known to be a cause of hair loss.

Brittle nails – strong, healthy nails rely on a balanced intake of nutrients. Lack of essential nutrients coupled with low-water content renders nails brittle. Excess alcohol consumption resulting in liver problems and iron deficiency can also cause nails to break.

Sleep – REM (rapid eye movement) sleep happens about 90 minutes after we fall asleep. It is the mentally restorative stage when people have dreams. Excess alcohol interferes with REM sleep and can lead to drowsiness, poor concentration, sleep walking and possible memory loss.

So the next time you want to drown in a drink at a party you are enjoying so much, do not forget the Law of Karma. Pleasures will give you pain and the pleasures will be very temporary. Alcohol only fools the mind. It is just dulling of the senses for a temporary period. You think you have passed your time happily but actually, time has passed you…sadly.

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