Why Do I Have Bruises After Drinking?

Table of Contents

Bruises after drinking alcohol can occur for many reasons. Find out why this happens and how to get effective treatment.

If you need immediate help with alcohol detox and addiction treatment, call 877-679-2132.

Reasons for Bruises After Drinking

Drinking too much alcohol comes with many risks. In the short term, it can lead to injuries, violence, and alcohol poisoning. It also increases the risk of suicide, sexual assault, and homicide. Heavy drinking can cause risky sexual behavior and unintended pregnancy.

Over time, drinking a lot of alcohol can cause many health problems. It increases the risk of many types of cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Chronic alcohol misuse can also lead to liver disease, which often causes bruising.

Bruises happen when blood gets trapped under the skin. This can make the area painful and swollen. When you get a bruise, an injury crushes blood vessels, but the skin doesn’t break, so there’s no external bleeding.

Several things can cause bruises after drinking alcohol:

  • Vasodilation: Alcohol makes blood vessels larger, which makes you more likely to bruise.
  • Loss of coordination: Drinking heavily can make you clumsier, leading to falls or injuries that cause bruises.
  • Liver disease: Chronic alcohol use can damage the liver. When the liver doesn’t work well, you’re more likely to bruise and bleed easily.

How Can I Reduce Bruising After Drinking?

If you notice bruising after drinking, here are some steps to help reduce it:

  • Drink less alcohol: Cutting down on how much you drink can help prevent bruising. Try to drink in moderation or avoid alcohol altogether.
  • Stay hydrated: Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated helps your body recover and can reduce bruising.
  • Be careful: Pay attention to your surroundings. Avoid situations where you might fall or get injured when you’ve been drinking.
  • Eat healthy: Eating a balanced diet with plenty of vitamins and minerals can help your body heal faster and reduce bruising. Foods rich in vitamins C and K, like oranges and leafy greens, are excellent choices.
  • Rest: Get plenty of sleep. Rest helps your body recover and heal, which can reduce bruising.
  • Ice the bruise: If you bruise, applying ice can help reduce swelling and pain. Wrap ice in a cloth and apply it to the bruise for 10 to 20 minutes.
  • See a doctor: If you bruise easily or notice a lot of bruising, talk to a doctor. They can check for any underlying health issues and give you advice on how to reduce bruising after drinking alcohol.

Taking these steps can help you reduce bruising and stay healthier. If you’re worried about your drinking habits, don’t hesitate to get help from a healthcare professional.

man sitting with his hands on his head representing Bruises all over body after drinking

When Should I See a Doctor About Bruising After Drinking?

It’s important to see a doctor if:

  • You bruise very easily, even without getting hurt.
  • You have bruises all over body after drinking.
  • Bruises appear suddenly and without a clear reason.
  • Bruises are very large or painful.
  • You notice other symptoms, like bleeding gums or nosebleeds.
  • You have a history of liver disease or other health problems.

Seeing a doctor can help determine if there’s a more serious issue and get you the right treatment.

Is Bruising After Drinking a Sign of Alcoholism?

Bruising after drinking can be a sign of heavy alcohol use, but it doesn’t always mean someone has alcoholism. Here are some things to consider:

  • Frequent drinking: If you drink a lot and often bruise, it might be a sign you’re drinking too much.
  • Other signs of alcoholism: These can include drinking alone, needing more alcohol to feel the same effects, and having trouble stopping once you start.
  • Health problems: Chronic alcohol use can lead to liver disease, which makes bruising more likely.

If you’re worried about your drinking habits or bruising, talk to a doctor. They can help you determine whether you have a problem and what to do next.

Bruises After Drinking FAQs

How does alcohol affect the body?

Alcohol affects the body by slowing down the brain and nervous system, which can impair judgment, coordination, and reaction times. It can also damage the liver, heart, and other organs with long-term use.

What nutritional deficiencies are associated with bruising after drinking alcohol?

Bruising after drinking alcohol can be linked to deficiencies in vitamins like vitamin C and K, and minerals like zinc, which are important for skin health and healing.

Can alcohol affect my blood clotting?

Yes, alcohol can affect your blood clotting by thinning the blood and reducing the ability of platelets to clump together, which can lead to easier bruising and bleeding.

How do I know if I’m drinking too much?

You might be drinking too much if you need alcohol to relax, if you can’t control your drinking, if it’s affecting your responsibilities or relationships, or if you experience withdrawal symptoms when not drinking.

ohio community center building representing bruising after drinking

Get Insurance-Covered Alcohol Rehab at Ohio Recovery

If you’re concerned about alcohol abuse, we offer personal treatment programs at Ohio Recovery in Cincinnati, OH.

We treat alcohol addictions and mental health issues in an outpatient setting. This means you can meet your daily commitments while attending therapy on weekdays.

Most health insurance plans cover at least part of addiction treatment costs. We can help you check your insurance coverage and work out costs you might need to pay out of pocket.

 When you’re ready to tackle alcohol addiction, call 877-679-2132.

Table of Contents

an image of author Joe Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore

Joseph Gilmore has been working in the addiction industry for half a decade and has been writing about addiction and substance abuse treatment during that time. He has experience working for facilities all across the country. Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.
An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Christopher Glover CDCA

My name is Christopher Glover, and I am from Cincinnati, Ohio. I am currently in school and working to grow in competence to better support our community. As a recovering individual I know the struggles that you or a loved one can go through and that there is help for anything you may be struggling with.

The hardest part is asking for help and we are here as a team to best support you and your decision to start your journey towards a better future. Connect with Chris on LinkedIn

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Amanda Kuchenberg PRS CDCA

I recently joined Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers as a Clinical Case Manager. I am originally from Wisconsin but settled in the Cincinnati area in my early 20s.  My career started in the fashion industry but quickly changed as I searched to find my drive and passion through helping others who struggle with addiction. 

As someone who is also in recovery, I wanted to provide hope, share lived experience, and support others on their journey.  I currently have my Peer Recovery Support Supervision Certification along with my CDCA and plan to continue my education with University of Cincinnati so I can continue to aid in the battle against substance addiction. Connect with Amanda on LinkedIn.

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Patrick McCamley LCDC III

 Patrick McCamley (Clinical Therapist) is a Cincinnati native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2019. Patrick received his bachelors degree in psychology from University of Cincinnati in 2021 and received his LCDC III (Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2022. Patrick has worked in Clinical Operations, Clinical Case Management, and Clinical Therapy throughout his career.

Patrick has tremendous empathy and compassion for the recovery community, being in recovery himself since 2018. Patrick is uniquely qualified to be helpful because of the specific combination of his academic background and his own experience in recovery.

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Bill Zimmerman CDCA

Bill Zimmerman is a Greater Cincinnati Area native who has worked in substance use disorder/co-occurring mental health disorder treatment since 2018. Bill received his (Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant) license from the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board in 2020.

Bill has worked in Clinical Operations in both support and supervision, and Program facilitating and 12 step recovery support during his career. Bill has a passion for the recovery community, having been in recovery himself since 1982. Connect with Bill on LinkedIn

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Taylor Lilley CDCA, PRS

Growing up in Louisiana with addiction running rampant on both sides of my family. A life away from drugs and alcohol seemed impossible for someone like me. I remember what it was like sitting across from someone thinking there is no way they could ever understand what I was going through.

Sharing my experience offers a credibility and a certain type of trust with clients that only someone who has walked down this road can illustrate. To immerse myself further into the field of addiction, I am currently studying at Cincinnati State for Human and Social Services.  I hope I never forget where I came from, if I can do it, so can you!

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Thomas Hunter LSW

Hello my name is Thomas Hunter. I was born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio. I am a licensed social worker.In my scope of practice I have worked in the areas of mental health and recovery for thirty years. The clients I have worked with in my career have ranged in age from seven to seventy.

I strive each day to serve my purpose of helping those in need and I believe I do so by utilizing all of my experiences to accomplish my goal of supporting those who desire to establish their sobriety and maintain it in their recovery. Connect with Thomas on LinkedIn.

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Mary D.Porter,LICDC

 My name is Mary D. Porter. I received my Masters of Social Work in 2008 from The University of Cincinnati. I received My Licensed Independent Chemical Dependency Counselor Licensure in 2001. I retired from The Department of Veteran Affairs Medical Center on April 14, 2014. Currently, I am the Associate Clinical Director for The Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers in Cincinnati.. Due to the fourth wave of the Opioid Epidemic in 2019,  I decided to enter back into the workforce to assist the addicted population.

The overdoses were astounding and I wanted to help.  I consider myself  to be an advocate for the addicted population. My compassion, resilience, empathy, wisdom, knowledge, experience and  love I have for this forgotten population goes beyond words. I consider what I do for the addicted population as a calling versus a “career,” because I too was once an “addict and alcoholic.” Today I am 45.5 years alcohol and substance free.

An image of Ohio Community Health staff

Ben Lemmon LCDC III

Hello, my name is Ben Lemmon, and I’m the Vice President and Clinical Director at Ohio Community Health Recovery Centers. I’ve been working in the addiction and mental health field since 2013 and decided to enter the field after overcoming my own challenges with addiction.

When I first meet a client, I always explain to them that the reason we are meeting is because they are not capable of obtaining or maintaining sobriety, and my goal is to create a person that can maintain sobriety. I believe a person’s personality is made up of their thoughts, feelings and actions and my job is to help clients identify the thoughts, feelings and actions that have them disconnected from recovery and provide them with the tools to live a healthy and happy life. Connect with Ben on LinkedIn