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Every part of the body like liver, heart, lungs, nervous system, pancreas, kidneys, and muscles can be affected by long-term alcohol abuse. Although it will take some time to develop complications, the more immediate manifestations are those in the behavior and physical appearance.

Here are some of the most common changes in the physical appearance of alcoholics:


A severe case of rosacea will lead into rhinophyma, a bulbous nose which is often attributed to the expanded sweat glands in the nose. The swelling of the sweat glands in the nose can become permanent by drinking frequently.

The alcohol may not only target the nose but also the alcoholic’s face as even the salivary glands are affected. The saliva will get stickier as you drink that can easily block salivary ducts. It may also cause parotid glands in the face to look puffy because of the swelling.


Due to enlarged blood vessels, most alcoholics have either the red nose or red face. As a result of excessive drinking, the blood vessels expand, including the prominent veins in the face. If the face of the alcoholic is red even if he or she is sober, it may mean that he or she have broken blood vessels.

Rosacea is another reason why some drinkers have the redness symptom on their skin. It could mean that it is a pre-existing skin condition that is exacerbated by alcohol and some other related factors. Based on a study, one out of two rosacea patients have this noticeable redness of their face even with just one drink. The redness of the skin will be permanent as the drinking continues.


Alcoholics may look yellow. The fatty deposits will build up in the liver when you drink and may lead to alcoholic fatty liver disease in no time. In people who are excessively drinking, edema will be more notable in the stomach with a buildup of bilirubin in the blood.

All of these are signs of progressing cirrhosis. The proliferation of bilirubin is well manifested through a yellowish color of eyes and face, which is medically referred as jaundice.


An alcoholic’s stomach may also experience ascites, a condition characterized by the retention of fluids caused by drinking large amounts of alcohol. The release of anti-diuretic hormone is restricted by the alcohol, causing the sodium and other electrolytes in the system from not excreting. The body may swell as more fluids are retained, worsening the condition of the body.

Shaking and Seizures

One classical sign of alcohol withdrawal is shaking and seizure. Due to heavy drinking, delirium tremors is exhibited by the body as an effect of the brain that manages the muscle movement. One reason behind shaking of hands is that the body builds up alcohol tolerance, and you are required to get more alcohol to have the same effects. The body needs to achieve equilibrium and to achieve this is to drink more to stop the shaking symptom.

The body is damaged inside and out as a result of alcohol abuse. Fortunately, it is always never too late to start self-healing. Rehabilitation programs promote sobriety and good health.

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