This section is from the book "The Human Body: An Elementary Text-Book Of Anatomy, Physiology, And Hygiene", by H. Newell Martin. Also available from Amazon: The Human Body.
One of the first effects of alcohol is a flushing of the skin. The nerves of the blood blood vessels, that should control the passage of the blood through them are paralyzed. The blood-vessels expand and an undue amount of blood flows to the surface, causing a transference of heat from internal parts to the skin, in which the main organs of the temperature-sense (p. 374) are located, this produces a temporary feeling that the body is warmer; but the final result is a loss of animal heat to the air, and a decrease of the temperature of the body as a whole.
Is it ever safe to bathe while warm? Point out conditions when a cold bath should be avoided. Why is it not wise to take a cool bath soon after a meal? What is the best time for a prolonged cold bath? What the best time for a brief daily dip ?
Why are shower baths better than immersion baths for persons in enfeebled health ?
With occasional alcoholic indulgence this dilation of the cutaneous blood-vessels is temporary; with repeated, it becomes permanent. The skin is then congested and puffy, and on exposed parts it is seen to have a purplish or reddish blotched appearance; pimples appear on parts, such as the nose, where the natural circulation is more feeble. The result is the peculiar degraded look of the sot's face. The congestion interferes with the nutrition of the skin; the epidermis (p. 298) is imperfectly nourished and collects in scaly masses, interfering with the proper action of the sweat-glands, thus throwing undue work on the kidneys.
Should healthy persons take daily warm baths? What is the consequence of frequent warm baths?
How should persons in feeble health regulate the temperature of their daily bath ?
Describe the effects of alcohol on the skin.