- How does alcohol abuse affect the condition of the skin?
Alcohol abuse affects the skin condition and has many negative effects on health. Problems with the skin, to which it leads, often are only a reflection of more serious problems with internal organs.
Abuse is usually said when systematic alcohol consumption begins to have a negative impact on work, school, family life, when a person has alcohol problems due to health problems and / or the law. Most of these people, in spite of this, continue to consume alcohol. But even if a person has not yet appeared above problems, the abuse may indicate his inability to sit back and relax without alcohol - usually it is the first "bell", predicts that in the near future, alcoholism may become a pressing issue. The female organism under the influence of alcohol collapses faster than the male, and above all immoderate use of alcoholic beverages affects the appearance.
Alcohol and health problems
Alcohol intoxication. Its consequen
- From the side of the cardiovascular system: decrease in heart rate, irregular pulse, low blood pressure;
- From the central nervous system: headaches, confusion, memory impairment, disorientation, impaired coordination of movements, emotional lability;
- From the gastrointestinal tract: nausea and vomiting;
- On the part of the respiratory system: asthma, slow or heavy breathing.
Chronic alcohol abuse or alcoholism has the following consequences:
- Cardio-vascular system: high blood pressure, heart failure, irregular heartbeat;
- On the part of the hemostasis system: a violation of blood clotting due to a decrease in platelet aggregation, and a decrease in the level of thromboplastin;
- part of the endocrine system: reduction in testosterone levels with a loss of libido, testicular atrophy, fertility impairment, elevated levels of estrogen and gynecomastia Gynecomastia - known since antiquity , change in body fat distribution, and loss of hair on the body;
- From the gastrointestinal tract: ulcers, hepatitis Hepatitis - the scourge of our time , cirrhosis, gallstones, cancer;
- From the central nervous system: dementia, impaired coordination of movements, Wernicke-Korsakov syndrome( vitamin B1 deficiency, which leads to mental disorders and vision problems);
- From the immune system: a direct toxic effect on the bone marrow, which leads to a decrease in the number of T cells and disruption of their functioning, as well as to a decrease in the level of immunoglobulins.
Effects of alcohol on small vessels
- Persistent skin redness
One of the earliest signs of alcohol abuse is the redness of the skin, usually on the face. This is due to the expansion of small superficial blood vessels( telangiectasia).Vessels expand as a result of the fact that with regular abuse of alcohol, the brain ceases to control their contraction.
- Temporary redness
strong temporary redness is a common side effect of alcohol, which is most often seen in people who consume alcohol in large doses. It is believed that this reaction is caused by acetaldehyde, which stimulates the secretion of histamine. Approximately 40% of natives of Northeast Asia use even the minimum amount of alcohol to increase the heart rate and observe temporary reddening of the skin, which is a consequence of the accumulation of acetaldehyde. It is assumed that this is the result of a mutation of acetaldehyde dehydrogenase( ALDH2), an enzyme that converts acetaldehyde to acetate.
Skin problems related to the effects of alcohol on the liver
- Arachnid angioma
This disorder has its name because of its appearance: the spider's legs( blood vessels) diverge in different directions from the central vessel( papules).When pressed, arachnoid angiomas pale;In some patients, they can pulsate. Most often they are formed on the face, neck, chest, arms and abdomen. A large number of spidery angiomas is associated with cirrhosis caused by an increase in estrogen levels. A study in which 82 patients with cirrhosis of the liver took part showed that with alcoholic cirrhosis, as a rule, much more angiomas are formed than with cirrhoses having other causes. This is probably due to vascular damage, which is due to alcohol abuse.
In healthy adults and children, spidery agnios also sometimes appear - in most cases, very few. They are especially common in pregnant women - experts attribute this to the effects of estrogen.
- Palmar erythema
Chronic diseases caused by alcohol abuse can lead to redness of the skin of the palms. Palmar erythema can also develop under the influence of estrogen Estrogen is the pledge of bone health in pregnant women.
- Jellyfish head
High pressure inside the venous system of the liver leads to an increase in pressure in the veins of the entire body, including those located in the navel( umbilical veins).The abnormality at which these veins expand is called the head of the jellyfish( caput Medusae) - due to the external similarity of the protruding veins to the wriggling snakes that grew from the hair of the head of the famous character of the Greek myth.
People with liver diseases that develop on a background of alcoholism, skin and sclera( the protein coat of the eyes) can acquire a yellowish tinge - this disorder is called jaundice. This color of skin and sclera is acquired because of bilirubin - one of the products of hemoglobin cleavage. In acute and chronic liver diseases, bilirubin metabolism is impaired. The color of the skin is normalized as the function of the liver is restored.
Hyperpigmentation of the skin around the eyes, mouth, and also the skin on the legs can be associated with chronic liver diseases. Why this happens is still unclear.
Skin itching can be the result of the accumulation of poorly processed substances that stimulate the nerve endings located on the skin. Among these substances can be bile salts, histamine, corticosteroids Corticosteroids - what are these substances and how they affect the human body and opioids.
Nail problems are nonspecific signs of certain liver diseases caused by alcohol abuse. Nevertheless, they often accompany various changes in the state of the skin.
- Symptom of tympanic sticks. This is the name of the condition in which the terminal phalanges of the fingers are considerably thickened, which gives them a resemblance to the drumsticks;In patients, deformation of the nail plates is also observed - they become very convex. Such symptoms can be present in many diseases, including liver diseases that develop against the background of alcoholism.
- Coilonichia. At the same time, the nails become concave, resembling spoons in shape. Coilonichia is often associated with iron deficiency, which can be a consequence of excessive consumption of alcohol.
- Terry's nails. Two thirds of the surface of the nail is white, and only about 2 mm of the nail plate is pink. This is due to the restriction of blood flow to the nail bed.
- Nails of Muerke. On the nail bed there are white stripes parallel to the hole, and between them - a strip of normal pink color, characteristic of healthy nails. This is a sign of a low level of proteins in the blood( hypoalbuminemia).
Redness of the nail holes can be the result of increased blood flow to the nail bed and vasodilation.