You may have heard the phrase “beauty comes from within” before. The phrase generally refers to inward kindness and benevolence reflecting outward. However, we can actually define it in a more literal way. What you put into your body will affect your outward appearance to some degree. So, while you fight your addiction on the inside, your body will display obvious signs of that battle outwardly.
Fortunately, getting sober can reverse a lot of the physical wear and tear that substance abuse does to the body.
Physical Conditions that Will Improve with Sobriety:
- Dry, brittle hair
- Dry skin
- Red or blotchy skin
- Dark spots
- Weak nails
- Uneven skin tone
A Close-Up on How Substance Abuse Affects Appearance
Color changes in the skin can occur due to malnourishment and dehydration. Both ailments are directly related to substance abuse. Dehydration is especially common with alcohol abuse. Alcohol decreases the production of anti-diuretic hormone, which the body uses to reabsorb water. Your body also loses fluids through vomiting, which is a direct result of alcohol consumption. Signs of dehydration can be interpreted on the skin through dullness, dark spots, and blotchiness. Dark spots are also caused by poor circulation, which is a common result of drug use. Fortunately, skin tone can be rebalanced with proper attention and care, which will result from maintained sobriety.
Dry Skin and Hair:
Malnutrition leads to dry skin and hair. Our bodies need a number of vitamins for healthy growth and upkeep. Skin, hair, and nails specifically need fatty acids, vitamin E, and a variety of B vitamins. We can get almost all of the vitamins and minerals we need from a normal, healthy diet. However, substance abuse takes over a normal diet by replacing regular, healthy eating. It can also cause an addict to skip meals completely. Living clean and sober will allow room for a recovered addict to reintroduce proper vitamins into their diet. The improved diet will then repair dry, brittle hair and flaky or cracked skin.
While there are few studies that directly link acne to drug use, there are signs that suggest a relationship between them. In general, drug use leads to higher stress levels, which is a common cause of acne. But there are also specific drugs that seem to be triggers for acne. For example, cocaine causes inflammation and changes in hormone levels, both of which can contribute to acne breakouts. Methamphetamines may trigger acne as well. Meth notoriously causes uncontrollable skin picking because of paranoia and stress. The forced irritation and spread of bacteria can most definitely cause acne.
It’s important to remember that your physical and mental health are much more important than your superficial appearance. Working on that should be your main priority in recovery. But rest assured, focusing on your health will automatically lead to improved appearance.
If you or someone you know is ready to get help for their addiction, please call us at 855-737-7363 for a free and confidential screening.