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How smoking affects the skin


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Discover the exact ways smoking affects the skin and even leads to skin cancer. Also educate yourself about how to prevent the skin damage that smoking brings.

Discover the exact ways smoking affects the skin and even leads to skin cancer. Also educate yourself about how to prevent the skin damage that smoking brings.

Published in: Health & Medicine

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  • 1. How Smoking Affects the Skin By
  • 2. Introduction• The health risks of smoking are immense but the most visible of them all is the effect on the skin. People can notice a smoker miles away because the skin looks dry, saggy, wrinkled, impoverished, and in dire need of a makeover. But the makeover won’t come until cigarette smoking is stopped. Experts say the body has an amazing ability to heal itself and all a smoker needs to prevent further skin damage is to quit smoking.
  • 3. Skin Damage From Smoking is Grave• While you may say the damage smoking does to the skin is minute compared to the lung cancers, COPD, or cardiovascular diseases, I dare say any damage (whether superficial or otherwise) should be looked into to avoid further damage (because smokers can develop skin cancer and that’s not minute. Is it?).
  • 4. How Smoking Destroys the Skin• Preventive Dermatology by Robert A. Norman and Max Rappaport gives an overview on how smoking affects the skin.• “Smoking”, according to the authors, “causes premature aging of the skin by affecting the color, tone and wrinkling.” They further stated that smoking can increase the risk for developing psoriasis (skin redness and irritation), melanoma (risky type of skin cancer), squamous cell carcinomas (form of skin cancer) on lips and tissue which lines the mouth. While stating that smoking could also be responsible for poor wound healing due to reduction of oxygen and nutrients to the skin, they also said it could cause acne and hair loss.
  • 5. How Smoking Destroys the Skin(2)• Robert Jones explains further in his book titled: Looking Younger: Makeovers That Make You Look as Good as You Feel.• According to him, “smoking destroys collagen and elastin in the skin. Nicotine actually has a harmful effect on tiny blood vessels in your face that feed and nourish your skin. Most experts consider smoking the number one cause of premature aging.”
  • 6. How Smoking Destroys the Skin(3)• In addition, Jones maintains smoking can alter the pigmentation of your skin, making it look dry and colorless and that the habitual use of certain muscles around the mouth during smoking can cause deep wrinkles.• He proffers a solution. According to him, “the best way to prevent these aging effects is to simply not smoke. Bottom line: Smoking is robbing you of beauty and youth.”
  • 7. The Effects of Smoking on the Skin• Care to know some of the effects of smoking on the skin? Find out below:• Premature Aging: A 2001 Japanese study to investigate the association between wrinkle formation and tobacco smoking confirmed that heavy smoking causes premature skin aging. The results of the study conducted at the Nagoya City University Medical School, Japan were published in the Journal of Dermatological Science.
  • 8. The Effects of Smoking on the Skin(2)• Wrinkles: The Tao of Quitting Smoking by Joseph P. Weaver, says scientists believe that smokers are three times as likely to develop premature wrinkling caused by smoking, which can show up in people as young as 20 years old. “The four thousand-plus chemicals in tobacco smoke interfere with microvasculature pathways which nourish your skin with oxygen rich blood, thereby causing wrinkling.”
  • 9. The Effects of Smoking on the Skin(3)• Skin Tissue Composition: Smoking deteriorates the composition of the skin tissue and is sometimes responsible for serious acne breakouts. Skin becomes dry and brittle with increased lines and wrinkles.• Poor Wound Healing: A University of Oklahoma Health Science Center study co-ordinated by Silverstein, P concluded that smokers have a higher degree of poor healing after face-lift surgery, as well as a greater degree of complications following breast surgery. They should therefore be advised to quit smoking before undergoing any form of voluntary surgery or “when recovering from wounds resulting from trauma, disease, or emergent surgery.”
  • 10. The Effects of Smoking on the Skin(4)• Skin Tone and Colour: Among many other effects, smoking leads to a discolouration of the skin as well as premature wrinkling.• Skin Cancer: While smoking has been scientifically linked to a couple of ailments like Lung cancer, COPD and heart disease, the evidence for skin cancer had not been too clear. But in June 2012, a study threw more light on this. It linked smoking to one type of skin cancer. After going through their pool of evidence, Fiona Bath-Hextall of the University of Nottingham in England and colleagues concluded that smoking is highly responsible for squamous cell cancer ( a form of cancer of the carcinoma type that may occur in many different organs, including the skin, lips, mouth, etc).
  • 11. The Way Out for Smokers• Earlier in this article, I quoted Robert Jones (author of Looking Younger: Makeovers That Make You Look as Good as You Feel) as saying the way out is to stop smoking and even though this will prevent further skin damage, experts say it may not reverse past skin damage. The most sensible to do for most smokers is to quit smoking before any irreversible damage is done to their skin. And so if you’re reading this and still smoking as a chimney, you know just what to do. Throw the butts away and get a non-smoking life! As you do so, you will no doubt find a companion in this Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) ebook on how smoking affects the way you look.
  • 12. Thanks for Reading!!!• For more incisive articles, please visit •