Alcohol and Smoking Effects on Acne

Everyone knows that alcohol and smoking cause many serious health problems like cancer, heart problems, liver failure, hypertension etc. So, did you know that both these indulgences also cause many skin problems such as acne?

Alcohol and Acne

Drinking excessive alcohol can dilate facial blood vessels. This increases flow of blood to the skin. Dilated blood vessels resemble acne rosacea. For many years, people believed that alcohol caused rosacea. This misconception should be stopped at once. However, alcohol can increase flushing and blushing and rosacea flare-ups can increase because of excessive alcohol consumption. Long term alcohol abuse does worsen acne symptoms. 

Many studies have been conducted on hormone levels and alcohol abuse. Hormonal imbalance leads to acne outbreaks. Studies have found that alcohol consumption increased the levels of testosterone and estrogen in men and women and could cause acne. In physically active men, testosterone levels were lower after consuming alcohol.

Many alcoholics suffer from stress. This can affect your personal life, job etc. This will induce stress and stress causes acne. Daily skin regimen is required to keep acne in check. Those who consume alcohol regularly will often miss this regimen and soon suffer from a recurrence of acne. An important preventive measure when you have acne is how to deal with it. Dermatologists will tell you not to prick or pinch acne lesions. A person who drinks a lot will suffer from impaired motor skills. Such a person will not be careful and could unduly irritate the skin cause acne to spread. 

Since alcohol can trigger acne rosacea, doctors advise patients who suffer from this skin condition to control their drinking as a preventive measure. Alcoholism can also cause pimples to break out on the face and nose. It interferes with proper flow of blood causing cell death. 

Alcohol And Smoking Effects On Acne

Smoking and Acne

Smoking increase facial reddening in people already suffering from acne rosacea. Elderly smokers tend to have a yellowish tinge on their skin and their skin ages faster. Smoking diminishes blood circulation, deprives the skin of oxygen and the ability to have healthy skin cells. This can cause outbreaks of acne or other skin problems. 

There are studies that contradict each other on the effects of smoking on acne. While some studies say there is no effect, others state that patients who smoke can worsen their outbreaks. Smoking definitely harms the health of your skin. It can constrict blood vessels, and reduce oxygen supply to the skin. This can cause inflammatory reactions in the body, and lead to poor wound healing. All these can provoke acne outbreaks. Smoking damages collagen production, it creates free radicals and degrades skin proteins. All these age the skin and free radicals can cause bacteria to thrive leading to non-inflammatory acne outbreaks. 

Chemicals found in cigarettes can prevent optimum absorption of vitamin A – required for good skin health. It also destroys collagen needed to maintain the elasticity of skin. While smoking may not directly cause acne, it can lead to other health problems that prevent quick healing of acne lesions. Pitted acne scars look worse due to poor collagen production. 


Apart from damaging blood vessels and worsening skin health, alcohol can create other problems like excessive stress, damage to the brain, inability to function properly and taking care of oneself. Hence, find support groups to help you overcome alcoholism and with it you can prevent serious health problems.

Dermatologists advise people to stop smoking to improve overall skin health including acne outbreaks. Smoking can affect circulation and blood pressure leading to serious health problems.