why does alcohol give you a red nose

Feb. 18, 2004 -- When a common
condition's best-known patient is also the poster boy for excessive drinking, you know there's bound to be some unflattering associations. Thank you, W. C. Fields, for helping to pair and alcohol. Not only is his reddish and bulbous nose a telltale sign of severe rosacea left untreated, but it has become synonymous with. And that leaves many of the 14 million Americans with rosacea red-faced for a reason besides their skin condition. "It's well established that alcohol does not cause rosacea and that this condition is not the result of excessive drinking," says John E. Wolf, MD, chairman of dermatology at Baylor College of Medicine. "But the popular perception is that it is. As a result, many rosacea patients suffer embarrassment and stigmatization because other people think their red nose and red face is caused by heavy drinking, even if they don't drink at all. " A Trigger, Not a Cause Actually, there is evidence that rosacea (pronounced "roh-ZAY-sha") is caused by a genetic and an ethnic predisposition -- it runs in families, typically those of fair-skinned heritage such as Irish, English, Scandinavian, Scottish, and similar descents.


But alcohol is among the scores of different triggers that can prompt or aggravate rosacea flare-ups in some patients. While drinking causes fewer reactions than "the big three" -- sunlight, heat, and environmental stress -- a new survey shows that just one drink can trigger problems in two of three patients. And, according to the survey of 700 patients by the National Rosacea Society, some drinks are worse than others. The percentage of patients reporting a skin reaction after drinking: Red wine, 76% White wine, 56% Beer, 41% Champagne, 33% Vodka, 33% Tequila, 28% Bourbon, gin, and rum, 24% Scotch, 21% Perhaps the most significant finding: Nearly nine in 10 patients say they now limit their consumption of alcohol because of their rosacea, and 90% of those say it has helped reduce flare-ups. "It is important that the public does not wrongly and unfairly confuse the appearance of rosacea with heavy drinking," says Diane Thiboutot, MD, of the Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center. "At the same time, in managing the disorder, alcohol should be recognized as among the many factors that can trigger or aggravate the condition. " Other triggers include some 20 different foods, including avocado, cheese, and eggplant; drinks such as coffee, tea, and hot cider; skin-care products; and even.


Short term drinking can lead to all sorts of problems, like memory loss, terrible hangovers, unacceptable behaviour etc, but long term, the implications of continued heavy drinking are very serious indeed. No prizes for guessing that, and pretty much everyone will be aware that long term alcohol abuse will lead to liver problems, but it can also lead to problems with high blood pressure, can cause serious heart disease, is a major factor in the incidence of breast cancer, and can cause strokes. Serious stuff. The liver, fortunately, is a clever organ that has the power to regenerate and can mend itself, but the other problems can be irreparable if the alcoholic persists in continued heavy drinking. What Happens to the Body? On a daily or regular basis, waking up and finding yourself feeling dreadful after drinking too much the night before, and it can really drag you down.


More often than not, the only way to feel better is to start drinking again. So the hangover's gone? Everything OK now? Absolutely not. The damage being inflicted on the body by this habitual and continuous abuse is far reaching. Alcohol contains a lot of calories, due to its high sugar content, and this can and does very often lead to weight increase. It's not just the intake of alcohol though that causes the weight gain. Alcoholics are often guilty of having bad eating habits, as drinking removes the desire for food, and then gives it back in spades at inappropriate times. Late night eating is common as heavy drinkers will often find that eating during the day is impossible until they have a good few drinks under their belt, and the more extrovert and social alcohol abusers are often visitors to the late night kebab shop! Alcohol dehydrates the body terribly and of course this is going to have an effect on your skin. It will become dull and dry, often giving the drinker a pasty or wrinkled appearance. But alcohol also dilates the body's capillaries, those tiny thread-like veins under the skin and they can then break, leading to redness and broken veins, particularly on the face.


That big red nose that is the 'sign of a drinker' is no myth. Just like the capillaries in your skin, the blood vessels in your eyes will suffer the same fate, leading to bloodshot eyes. Sometimes when the liver is affected the whites of the eyes can also take on a yellowish colour too. On waking, that rather sour morning after smell is due to the liver struggling to process the overload of alcohol passed through it. It does this by excreting it through sweat and urine, and this leads to that all-over bad smell. Including your breath of course. Alcoholics and alcohol abusers are very often aggressive and violent and will also be accident prone, falling over a lot and knocking into things. Their bodies will bear testimony to this, often being scarred, cut or bruised a lot. Apart from all the issues above, there are far more serious implications for the long term drinker. But it's not just about physical symptoms either. The mental state is also affected long term

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