Sometimes, bruising after drinking occurs because of the fact that alcohol dilates the blood vessels. When blood vessels are dilated, you’re more likely to experience a bruise after bumping into something. This effect may explain why you’re waking up with bruises after drinking.

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It can also cause skin changes resulting from alcoholic liver disease. Broken blood vessels cause bruises to form on your skin. Blood vessels are tubes that carry blood throughout your body.

What Is A Bruise?

It’s rare to have extremely low levels of vitamin C, but it’s more likely to happen if you’re older or you smoke. That vasodilation also happens to be responsible for the flushed sensation of heat you sometimes get in your face when you drink.

alcohol and bruising

These high-risk populations most prominently include first-degree relatives of alcoholics. Trait markers also could provide important research tools for evaluating the genetic and environmental factors that may predispose a person to alcoholism. The precise mechanism underlying vacuole development in blood cell precursors currently is unknown.

What to know about alcoholic liver disease?

Furthermore, if alcohol bruises are a result of liver damage, you likely have alcoholic liver disease, which causes severe dysfunction in the liver. Alcohol is known to be toxic to the liver, and a majority of people who regularly consume 4 or more drinks per day will develop a fatty liver. Blood clotting, or coagulation, an important physiological process that ensures the integrity of the alcohol and bruising vascular system, involves the platelets, or thrombocytes,4 as well as several proteins dissolved in the plasma. When a blood vessel is injured, platelets are attracted to the site of the injury, where they aggregate to form a temporary plug. Fibrin is a stringy protein that forms a tight mesh in the injured vessel; blood cells become trapped in this mesh, thereby plugging the wound.

Some people bruise more easily than others, and the bruising can take longer to heal. Individual drinkers appear to differ in their susceptibility to alcohol-induced thrombocytopenia. Thus, clinicians have noted that some people who consume alcohol in excess repeatedly develop thrombocytopenia (often severely), whereas other drinkers maintain normal platelet levels. The function of neutrophils, including their adhesion ability, is regulated by hormonelike substances called leukotrienes. Thus, the impaired neutrophil functioning observed after alcohol treatment could be attributable to reduced leukotriene production or to the neutrophils’ inability to respond to the leukotrienes. Some research results indicate that alcohol can interfere with leukotriene production.

When should I see my healthcare provider about a bruise?

One of the diagnostic criteria that points toward an alcohol use disorder is continuing to drink, even in the face of consequences. These consequences can include relationship problems, difficulty fulfilling duties at work or home, or a worsening of health problems. If a person continues to drink despite health-related problems, bruises after drinking may be a consequence that arises from alcohol misuse.

Any conditions that have reversed will typically return once drinking restarts. Dilated blood vessels can make bleeding more likely when you drink. If you have cirrhosis from alcohol liver damage, you’re also more likely to bleed and bruise easily.

Alcohol affects muscle fibers causing alcoholic myopathy. Drinking too much alcohol over time can weaken the muscles. This condition can be acute, affecting people for a short period of time before resolving, or chronic, lasting for a longer period of time. Researchers have not determined if this is caused by the effects of alcohol on the brain or is the result of thiamine deficiency. Erin is a Nurse Practitioner with 8 years of experience in midwifery and women’s health.

  • The neutropenia was transient, however, and in several patients a rebound leukocytosis occurred between 5 and 10 days after hospital admission.
  • A CT scan of the upper abdomen showing a fatty liver (steatosis of the liver).
  • By subscribing to decompensated cirrhosis and liver transplant content from Mayo Clinic, you have taken an important first step in gaining knowledge and using it for your overall health and well-being.
  • Dehydration – This is the most apparent way how alcohol causes wrinkles.
  • To use this treatment, gently rub vitamin K cream onto the bruise at least two times per day.
  • Females who consume high amounts of alcohol and also carry excess body weight have a greater chance of developing chronic liver disease.

AUD is also known as alcohol misuse or alcohol addiction. A person with AUD may be unable to manage their drinking habits and may drink heavily. Bruises are very common and will affect everyone at some point in their life. Bruises can occur from a fall, accident, sports injury or medical procedure. People older than 65 years are more likely to bruise, along with women and people assigned female at birth.