The Facial Signs of Alcoholism

Alcoholism is not only an addiction, but it can also become a form of self-abuse when a person can no longer control their addiction 1. There are also many health risks associated with the disease, and prolonged use can lead to such issues as cirrhosis of the liver or pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). In some instances, alcoholism can be hereditary 1. There are many signs of alcohol abuse, but immediate signs will be apparent in facial features 23.


Excessive drinking can result in broken capillaries upon the face, or veins that appear to be spidery in form (i.e. spider veins).


In many people, especially in Asian descent, facial flushing can occur, as well as on the cheeks and neck 2. This accounts for the "red face" that many alcoholics seem to have on a daily basis.


When people drink excessively, it tends to show in their eyes. The eyes may have an inability to focus or shift abruptly and may sometimes become glazed or watery.


Some people may experience a shaking or twitching of facial muscles after consuming too many drinks. A person's face may also become slack or droopy when highly intoxicated.


Alcoholism not only effects the drinker, but loved ones as well 1. Birth defects can result from drinking, as well as intoxicated driving, which can potentially harm others.

Seeking Help

If you are experiencing symptoms of alcoholism, seek help immediately 1. There are many online resources, such as the National Institute of Health's Factsheet that can help you and your family.

According to the Factsheet, Professionally led treatments include non-addictive medications to offset changes to the brain from alcoholism 1. Behavior Treatments or counseling help to change behavior through social network support, help to cope with triggers, and help to set reachable goals.