10 Effects Of Smoking On Skin

Side Effects Of Smoking

Side Effects Of Smoking 

It’s a well-known fact that smoking is completely injurious to your health. It’s bad for your heart, lungs, brain, and even your skin. Often, our skin is exposed to many environmental noxious agents including tobacco smoke. Tobacco smoke consists of thousands of chemicals and substances that damage our skin.

It is also linked to causing cancer as well as lung and heart diseases. In fact, according to a study in the Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, smoking cigarettes or tobacco increases the risk of dying from all causes, not just those linked to tobacco. 

Cigarettes contain toxic chemicals that cause skin issues like premature aging and other skin conditions, including skin cancer. If you are already experiencing any skin issues, then smoking can worsen your condition.

If you currently smoke and notice that your skin is suffering, immediately consult your doctor and know how to manage those symptoms as well as some resources for quitting smoking. However, in most cases quitting smoking is the only solution to keep your skin healthy.

In this article, let’s have a look at 10 effects of smoking on our skin.

10 Effects Of Smoking On Skin

  • Skin Cancer:

  • Cigarette smoke contains cancer-causing substances called carcinogens. So, if you smoke, you are at a higher risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma, a type of skin cancer.

    This type of cancer shows symptoms like rough or scaly red patches, raised lumps, open sores, and wart-like growths on your skin. 

  • Premature Ageing:

  • The toxins present in cigarette smoke can easily damage your collagen and elastin which are fibrous components of your skin that keep it firm and supple. Without those components, your skin becomes less elastic, leading to deeper wrinkles and premature aging.

    It increases the production of free radicals, narrows the blood vessels, and lowers the levels of vitamin A in the skin. It also results in developing vertical wrinkles around the mouth that come from pursuing your lips as you repeatedly draw on a cigarette.

  • Psoriasis:

  • Psoriasis is an inflammatory skin disease that shows symptoms like itchiness, redness, and scaly patches on your skin. Smoking increases the risk factors of developing psoriasis and a study found that people who smoke very often have a higher risk of developing psoriasis. 

    The presence of nicotine in cigarettes affects the immune system, causes skin inflammation, and increases the count of skin cells which ultimately results in developing psoriasis. People who smoke often are more likely prone to develop palmoplantar pustulosis, which is a recurrent inflammatory disorder.

  • Vasculitis:

  • Vasculitis is a group of autoimmune diseases where blood vessels become inflamed and narrowed which make it harder for the body to deliver blood to the heart and other organs to the body. 

    Smoking is one of the causes that put you at higher risk for a type of vasculitis disease called Buerger’s disease. The symptoms of this disease include bluish, red or pale color finger or toes, tissue damage, and painful sores on fingers and toes. 

  • Eczema:

  • Smoking also causes atopic dermatitis as well as hand eczema. Symptoms of eczema include dryness, itchiness, or itchy patches of skin in red or brown color. 

    In addition, people who are exposed to second-hand smoke also face a greater risk of developing hand eczema. According to one study, it has been found that children exposed to second-hand smoke also develop atopic skin conditions like eczema and adolescents.

  • Acne Inversa:

  • Acne Inversa is also called Hidradenitis Suppurativa is another common inflammatory skin disease where lesions develop in areas where skin rub against the skin like armpits, groin, and under the breasts in women.

  • Wound Healing:

  • Smoking causes vascular constriction which impairs the body’s ability to circulate blood and makes it harder for you to heal the wounds. 

    Even very minor cuts or scrapes take longer to heal properly when you smoke cigarettes. Smoking results in developing scariness from these minor injuries as well.

  • Pigmentation Of Skin:

  • Smoking cigarettes increases the production of melanin in our body that leads to the cause of dark spots, especially on our face and lips. Continuously holding cigarettes in between the fingers can lead to yellowing of skin because of nicotine and other toxins like tar. 

  • Palmar Telangiectasia:

  • Telangiectasia is also called “spider veins” is a skin condition where the blood vessels in the body widen that cause damage to capillary walls. This is noticeable on the surfaces of skin, where you can see permanent purple blotches or traces of veins.

    It often occurs on the palms of the hand and it has been associated with past smoking or current smoking. Since the nicotine in tobacco constricts blood vessels and leads to the cause of this condition.

  • Worsens Existing Skin Conditions:

  • Smoking can make the symptoms of other skin conditions worse, such as vascular skin conditions, oral conditions, and systemic lupus erythematosus.

    How Quitting Smoking Improves Your Skin Conditions

    If you want to recover from all these types of skin conditions, quitting is the only option for recovering.

    Quitting leads to reduced inflammation of blood vessels that causes many skin conditions. Blood circulation to the heart and to other parts of the body will improve and the return of normal blood flow will provide oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells of your body.

    Overall, your body will start the healing process, and the ability to heal from wounds also improves. 

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