Wrinkles will Definitely Come with Smoking
While smokers are usually well aware that cigarette smoking puts their health at risk, they might not realize that their skin can be seriously affected too.
The problem is that cigarettes are full of toxins that can lead to premature aging, wrinkles and other skin conditions. In fact, if you have an existing skin condition, smoking can aggravate this condition.
Wrinkles and early aging
Those toxins mentioned above will damage the collagen and elastin - the fibrous components of your skin that help to keep it firm and supple - so that your skin can become hardened and less elastic with resulting deeper wrinkles and premature aging.
Smokers will find that such wrinkles become more noticeable on their face, especially between the eyebrows, around the eyes and in the area of the mouth and lips. In addition, smoking can lead to sagging skin under the eyes and around the jawline. When you purse the lips around smoking a cigarette, this can cause vertical wrinkles around the mouth.
But that is not all...
Smoking also causes premature aging when it narrows the blood vessels (limiting the amount of oxygen your skin gets), increases the production of free radicals - and lowers levels of vitamin A in the skin.
Smoking increases melanin in the skin. This can lead to age spots and dark spots, especially on the face.
Healing of wounds
Smoking causes vascular constriction, which impairs the body's ability to circulate blood, making it more difficult for wounds to heal including those following surgery. Even minor cuts and scrapes might take longer to heal properly when you smoke cigarettes. Scarring is more likely too.
This chronic and inflammatory skin condition results in itchy and scaly patches. When the skin is a darker tone, psoriasis may appear violet or dark brown with gray scales while if the skin is lighter, psoriasis looks red or pink with silvery scales. Smoking poses a risk factor for developing psoriasis.
While it is not certain, it is thought that the link between psoriasis and smoking could be the nicotine in cigarettes. Nicotine affects the immune system, skin inflammation and even skin cell growth. All of these are contributing factors to the development of psoriasis.
Spider veins can appear when the small blood vessels in the body widen or dilate, causing damage to capillary walls. It is more visible when the damage is close to the surface of the skin with an appearance of permanent purple blotches or traces of veins. Known as palmar telangiectasia, this skin condition often occurs on the palms of the hand - and is associated with smoking when the nicotine in tobacco constricts the blood vessels.
Yet another risk from smoking is the skin condition known as atopic dermatitis (the most common form of eczema) as well as hand eczema, when dry and itchy patches of skin occur.
And it is not only the smokers themselves who are affected, those exposed to second hand smoke (including children) also risk developing eczema.
Squamous cell carcinoma
Cigarette smoke contains carcinogens meaning that smokers are at a great risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma. This condition appears as rough or scaly patches, raised lumps, open sores or wart-like growths on the skin. If you suspect this skin condition might be affecting you, contact your doctor or dermatologist for an accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Smoking can aggravate existing skin conditions
Such skin conditions including rosacea and cold sores.
What can happen if you manage to quit smoking?
- You will reduce the inflammation of blood vessels that leads to many smoking-related skin conditions.
- Your circulation and heart rate will improve, as will the functioning of your heart and lungs.
- The return of normal blood flow will bring oxygen and nutrients to skin cells and your skin can begin to look healthier.
- Overall, your body will start to heal itself. Your ability to heal from wounds will improve, too.
- Studies have found that dark spots and discoloration of the skin can start to subside just weeks after quitting smoking.
- Those with acne inversa (who smoke) usually have more affected areas of the body than those who don't and similar finding have been reported with psoriasis and eczema as well.
And it is not just a question of reversing the damage already done to your skin through smoking. Quitting smoking as early as possible will help to prevent skin conditions appearing in the first place.
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