by Sudha Bhat on  November 4, 2014 at 3:01 PM Health Watch
 Facing Up to Alcoholism With New Interactive Photo Tool
While drinking alcohol in moderation like red wine is considered beneficial for your health, it is very easy to cross that fine line between moderation and going overboard. What soberness conceals, drunkenness reveals in your health and appearance! Alcohol is a pervasive fact of life and dependency on alcohol is actually a complex disorder that affects every aspect of your life as well as your near and dear ones. Alcoholism or alcohol addiction is considered a disease because it fits the definition of a disease. It is progressive and chronic and if left untreated, it could potentially kill.

Thus the ill effects of alcohol on health is widely known and publicized, so it is important to keep alcohol consumption under check.

A new tool has now been designed by website Rehabs, which shows how excessive drinking can have negative influence on your appearance. This interactive tool is named as "Your face as an alcoholic" shows people the reality of how their face would look in future if they continued being a chronic alcoholic. It is as simple as uploading your current photograph; the new tool then can chart the change in your features including your skin and face in the next 2, 5, 10, 15 and 20 years to enable you to see how alcohol can alter your face. Your picture is actually morphed, distorted and edited to show some of the long-term effects of alcohol on your skin such as bloating, permanent red blotches and deep wrinkles.

A spokesperson from the organization commented that "The purpose of the program is to create a shock factor for users, preying on the vanity, in hopes that the very ugly future of their actions will incite behavioural change."

The main purpose is to show you just how bad, things can become in your near future if you continue being addicted to alcohol. This new tool serves as a vital resource for people battling substance abuse and behavioral addictions. They also have a similar tool which shows the dramatic impact of drugs like meth on your face.

The website also added "The physical transformation that prolonged drug abuse can cause is just the tip of the iceberg, merely an immediate and dramatic representation of the life-altering destruction that addiction can create."

Alcohol not only depletes your body of the vital nutrients, but can also reportedly cause anemia, cancer, dementia, depression, high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease and liver cirrhosis.

At a recently held National Alcohol Conference in Canberra, the Australian Medical Association warned that Australia has a drinking problem and that they need to address the culture of consumption of alcohol.

The AMA president Brian Owler said "We need to shape our attitudes and culture to make sure we minimise people's harmful alcohol consumption. We're not against alcohol - we're not prohibitionists or wowsers - but we need to make sure our children's attitudes to alcohol are shaped properly."

Effects of Alcohol on Skin: Over time, excessive drinking of alcohol could have permanent, detrimental effects on your skin, which are summarized below:

Alcohol causes dehydration and over a period of time your skin becomes dry and wrinkled, making you look older than you actually are! It could lead to bloating and swelling. Additionally, alcohol depletes Vitamin A reserve which is crucial for the cell renewal process, another factor for the dull appearance of the skin. Thus hydrating from within by drinking plenty of water is the only way to combat the drying effects of alcohol.

Drinking excessive alcohol will also dehydrate your hair and make it more prone to breaking and split ends.

Excessive alcohol is known to hinder the production of vasopressin, which is an anti-diuretic hormone. This puts extra load on the kidneys to remove excess water from your system, which in turn sends water to your bladder instead of your organs and you find the need to use the restroom more often.

Alcohol is known to cause 'Spider angiomas', in which the blood vessels radiate out in all directions from a central vessel, seen mostly on the face, chest, neck, arms and hands. It is seen that a large number of these are linked to liver cirrhosis due to elevated level of estrogen.

Chronic alcoholic liver disease leads to palmar erythema or reddening of the palmar skin. In chronic liver disease, the metabolism of bilirubin is impaired leading to yellowing of the skin and sclera of the eyes (jaundice-like appearance).

Alcohol could worsen or flare up preexisting conditions such as rosacea. The increase in the blood flow by alcohol could cause dilation of blood vessels in your face.

Alcohol is known to suppress your body's immune system, thus greatly reducing your body's natural defense against cancer. Apart from other form of cancers, alcohol increases the risk of skin cancer namely squamous cell carcinoma, basal cell carcinoma and melanoma.

Drinking alcohol increases your caloric intake and is quite fattening. Just to give you an estimate, scientists say a pint of 4% beer or two double gin and tonics equals the calories in one burger. A large glass of wine reportedly has the equivalent kilojoules to a slice of cake.

Thus the takeaway from this article is that alcohol not only affects your appearance, but it also wreaks havoc on your insides if you continuously drink beyond the limits.

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