Top 5 Negative Effects Smoking Has On Your Skin

New year, new you! The new year often comes with resolutions about exercise, weight loss and improving your health. So why not improve you skin as well?

If you smoke, then you are cognizant on how it can affect your heart, lungs, and brain functions. Smoking also has a very real effect on your skin’s health and appearance. The effects smoking has on the skin is a lot more obvious, but just as sinister as the effect it has on your vital organs. Here’s are the top 5 things smoking can do to your skin:

1. Increase Lines around the Mouth and on the Face

The constant dragging on a cigarette exasperates lines and wrinkles around the lips. Constant puckering and the drying nicotine creates the perfect scenario for highlighting aging skin.

“In laboratory experiments, nicotine has actually been shown to decrease collagen production,” says Dr. Adam Mamelak, board certified dermatologist in Austin, Texas. “Along with the free radicals produced from tobacco and the increase in collagen breakdown, all this contributes to the so-called ‘smoker’s face,’ with thin skin, prominent bones, wrinkles and discolored skin.”

2. Bags under the Eyes

Darkness and bags under the eyes is a common concern in our dermatology clinic,” says Emily Johnston, certified physician assistant at Sanova Dermatology.

If you smoke, you are more than four times as likely as non-smokers to feeling haggard and unrested after a night’s sleep, regardless of how many hours you’ve slept. One of the reasons why many smokers have a harder time getting to sleep and staying asleep is because of mild nicotine withdrawal while asleep. The nicotine withdrawal causes you to toss and turn constantly, lowering your chance of securing a restful night’s sleep.

3. Smoking Exacerbates Other Skin Conditions

Psoriasis manifests itself as raised scaly plaques on the skin that tend to have a pink or red color. It is an autoimmune-related skin condition that affects about 2% of the population – smokers and non-smokers alike. However, smokers have a higher chance of experiencing bouts of psoriasis in their lives, with the smoke increasing the chances of a breakout. Even secondhand smoke increases the chance of you suffering from this condition.

4. Bad Breath, Yellowing Teeth and Skin

The smoke from nicotine dries out the mouth, disturbing the delicate oral ecosystem, causing bad breath and cotton mouth. The chemicals in the smoke will also have the teeth and skin to become yellow.

“We’ve all noticed the obvious yellow stains on the fingers that come from years of holding cigarettes,” says Emily Johnston, PA-C. “Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there.” Emily claims the yellow hue and even a purple/orange complexion can develop on face and other areas of the body.”

5. Wounds Won’t Heal As Fast

Smoking delays wound healing, including skin injuries, abrasions, ulcers and wounds coming from surgery. “Along with less collagen production, smoking decreases the amount of oxygenated blood that is delivered to wounds, and decreases the number of new blood vessels formation that occurs during the healing process” explains Dr. Mamelak. Chronic smokers are at a risk of experiencing infections, skin breakdown and necrosis, as well as having their bodies reject skin grafts altogether.

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To learn how dermatology can jump start your skin’s health due to past smoking, please contact us today at Sanova Dermatology.

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