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This St. Patrick's Day, remember your skin

Drinking alcohol in excess can be detrimental to

Drinking alcohol in excess can be detrimental to your skin. Credit: Drinking alcohol in excess can be detrimental to your skin. (iStock)

Reality check!

Alcohol isn't very good for you. But while most people think of liver disease or headaches as side effects of drinking too much, your looks could suffer, too.

Dr. Mitchell Chasin, director of Reflections center for skin and body in New Jersey, says excessive alcohol consumption has both short and long-term affects for your skin. He spoke with amNewYork.

What are the negative effects of alcohol on the skin? Drinking alcohol dehydrates the skin, leaving it dull and dried out. It depletes essential nutrients, including vitamin A, which is vital in the regeneration of new cells. Since vitamin A fuels collagen production, this causes skin to lose elasticity over time. Fine lines and wrinkles will develop sooner if there is a lack of collagen. Repeated heavy drinking can cause blood vessels in the face to dilate, causing red, spidery veins. If heavy drinking continues, blood vessels will grow, leading to permanent redness and rosacea.

What can people do to combat them, apart from drinking less? If limiting drinking isn't an option, make an effort to drink a glass of water between each drink or two. This keeps the body hydrated and helps to flush alcohol from the system. After the drinking is over, have a glass of water before bed. Drinking water will benefit the entire body by hydrating it, and also relieving hangovers. If you wear makeup, be sure to scrub it all off before hitting the pillowcase, regardless of how much you drank. Leftover makeup clogs pores and fills faint lines, which expedites aging.

If the damage has been done, non-invasive facial treatments such as Microdermabrasion, Fraxel Re:Store Dual, and intense pulsed light treatments are a great ways to rejuvenate the skin.

Is this an issue most people don't think about when considering the health issues related to drinking alcohol? Why? Most people don't consider alcohol's effect on the skin since alcohol is linked with many serious internal problems concerning the liver, and even the brain. Some just worry about the immediate effects of alcohol, like the headaches they will face the next day. The bottom line is that excessive drinking will affect the entire body in a negative way, internally and externally. It's important to moderate drinking to keep the body and mind healthy.

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