Does Alcohol Make You Feel Flushed?


Does Alcohol Make You Feel Flushed?

Rosy cheeks, feeling flushed and suddenly warm, alcohol has an affect on our body temperature. That warm feeling alcohol provides is often part of the incentive for people to drink. Heat and warmth are naturally attractive states for humans. Born out of our mothers’ warm wombs, it seems as though mankind is in an ongoing hunt to find the next most perfect womb to feel comfortable in. Warmth makes us feel safe, secure, and loved. For many, getting those sensations from alcohol is a major draw for an ongoing abusive relationship. Alcohol abuse is only partly about how much alcohol is consumed. It is also why alcohol is consumed excessively. Alcohol serves many purposes. Though millions use it to get intoxicated, that is not actually alcohols real purpose.  Using alcohol for a sense of warmth, safety, security, and comfort, is abusive. Alcohol is not a person, or a jacket. It’s harmful and intoxicating substance which can cause the development of a lifelong chronic and fatal disease.

Where Does The Warmth Come From?

According to Dr. Kenneth Warren of the NIAAA, the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “alcohol is a vasodilator, which means it widens the blood vessels called capillaries right under the skin, so they quickly fill with warm blood.” The flowing capillaries cause sensations of heat like warm skin, looking flushed in the face, and perspiration. Unfortunately, heat at the surface does not always mean heat below. Skin is a two way organ. Heat which rises to the skin leaves. To get to the skin, heat has to leave the core. Though alcohol may feel warm, it is actually reducing the core temperature of the body. While your skin feels like it’s burning up, your body is turning cold.

Simultaneously, alcohol is interfering with your brain’s thermoregulation, meaning that once the alcohol stops flowing, the heat won’t just sink back into your core. Instead, the body will have a difficult time warming up. Additionally, alcohol is an anesthetic. When alcohol reaches the brain, it causes an inhibition among sensory functions; for example, telling what is hot and what is cold.


Alcoholism and alcohol abuse are life threatening issues. If you or a loved one are suffering from a toxic relationship with alcohol, please call or text Refuge Recovery today. We provide medically assisted detox and various levels of care from residential inpatient to transitional living. For more information, call 323-207-0276.

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