Obviously, a lot of research has gone into the goods and evils of alcohol. We’ve heard innumerable stories of the havoc a few too many drinks can wreck, including misplaced passion, killing even. Drunken brawls are not called by that name for the love of language.

In moderation, though, alcohol has proved to actually be good for the body. Red wine is supposed to be a good tonic for the skin but of course only if consumed in moderation so the main mantra is to know to stop with a glass or two – if the glasses are small.

For the man

In any situation, when someone has had too much alcohol, their skin gets flushed. The human body reacts. Everything we eat or drink has to get through the liver. It is the body’s filter system. Like any mechanism that buckles under an overload, the liver stops being an efficient organ. It gets clogged and is unable to pass on valuable nutrients to the rest of the body, of which the skin is the last on the receiving end. Naturally, it is the first to show the pressure put on the liver by botching up, becoming red, sallow, unhealthy. If alcoholic binges continue, the skin condition worsens. Capillariesremain dilated with continued alcohol consumption. Skin gets dehydrated and wrinkles faster than it would normally, making the excessive drinker appear older than his age. “I drink a lot of water when I know I’m going to indulge,” says Suresh sounding holier than thou. Turns out it is a good practice.Because when you booze, your body loses a lot more body fluids as you go to the loo far more frequently than you normally would.Then, there’s good news. The skin, it turns out, is the most resilient organ in the body. It bounces back to its old radiance. Not exactly instantly. But in a month or so, you are bound to see results and get compliments like, “you look so....(second, closer look)...fresh!” And hence being a dermatologist am strictly against alcohol consumption to levels of spoiling your skin.Let’s talk calories. Alcohol does have them a little but instead, it has a Plenty of them. So, if you notice, men who drink a lot have big beer bellies. A glass of booze has the same number of calories as a large potato and can be more than that in cocktails and lime cordial syrups. While the potato has nutritive value, and its calories are ‘good’ calories, alcohol possesses only ‘empty’ calories that go quickly to your midsection and attach themselves firmly there, showing the world what you do on most evenings and also leads to cellulite.

For the woman

This is not a sex discrimination thing... women, unfortunately, don’t have the metabolism that men do. Their bodies cannot process alcohol as quickly as men. Constitutionally, they have more fat and that is where alcohol gets stored. And once they cross their biological forties (it is not how old they feel, but how old their bodies are) the booze scene gets worse. Alcohol stays for longer in their bodies, making skin dehydrated and looks older and hence, increasing wrinkles and folds on the face. Excessive boozing causes the flushed look. Outbreaks of rosacea become more pronounced as excessive consumption of alcohol aggravates it, making the bumpy red spots look angrier.While a little alcohol can relax the mind, too much can harm the body. Especially when a woman is pregnant or lactating. A drinking mother can harm her foetus irreversibly. Because of her drinking, her unborn child can develop bone deficiencies, heart problems, retarded intellect, learning deficiencies, behavioural problems, etc.“The proverbial nightcap that is supposed to induce sleep is actually asleep retardant. Too much boozing can make a person sleepless too” adds Dr.Deepali.“I really don’t like to drink,” says Sonia my co-assistant at work and she is not alone. Not many Indian women like to drink I have heard in my OPD as women say- “It’s bad for my skin,” adds Dr.Deepali. So as a Dermatologist all that I need to add to her wonderfully radiant complexion is eating lots of fresh fruits and veggies throughout your day. “I don’t drink, and I love it that way only Red Wine on occasions is my flavour because I love my health and skin,” says Dr.Deepali.