10 Side Effects Of Smoking On The Skin That You Must Know!

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Smoking effect on Skin
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Do you smoke? then here are some side effects of smoking on skin that you must know before it is too late. Smoking is injurious to health! Everybody knows that but how many of us actually take it seriously?  Every time you take a puff, do you know the toll it takes on your body?

10 Possible Side Effects of Smoking On Skin Health

If you don’t know how smoking could affect your skin, This article will explain every possible side effects of smoking on the skin. If you take these seriously, this could be a life changing moment for you.

Immediate Effects of Smoking On Your Skin

Some people may cough severely after smoking for the first time, well the reason why you cough is that immediately after you take a puff, The lining of your nose and oesophagus becomes red and irritated from the chemicals and smoke. Your mouth becomes dry as all the good bacteria dies, the back of your mouth starts itching.

  • 20 minutes after you smoke

Your pulse and blood pressure increase as nicotine enters your blood. Some might experience a reduced sense of smell because the stimulant will start releasing all the feel-good chemicals into your body but if you don’t have that effect then you might get irritated or anxious.

  • Eight to 48 hours

If you haven’t smoked since your first puff, the nicotine and carbon monoxide finally begins to leave your system. But for your body to fully flush out all traces of nicotine it takes nearly two days. As this happens the mucus that protects your lungs starts to drain. Also when you work out or do any physical activity, you may feel winded.

Now you know what a single puff can take your body through, let’s look into 10 Ways Smoking could affect your skin.

10 Ways Smoking Could affect your skin

Skin is just one part of the body that shows the signs of smoking to the outside world while the rest happens inside your body slowing poising you and killing you bit by bit every day.

  1. Premature Aging of Facial Skin

What are smokers lines? ‘Smoker’s lines’ are the vertical wrinkles that form around your mouth when you frequently purse your lips to draw on a cigarette. It’s not just that this looks old and ugly,  but this also shows that you are a smoker and it’s beginning to take its toll on your skin. Apart from that, you will form the crows feet around your eyes at an early age. Collagen and elastin damage is a big factor that causes premature aging of the skin in smokers. Apart from that vascular constriction also promotes early aging of the skin. The blood vessels in the skin constrained and block the blood and oxygen from reaching the skin making you look years older than you actually are.

  1. Psoriasis

If you thought only stress can bring those itchy, red scaly patches o your skin you are mistaken, your good old puff mate is breaking you from inside out. Doctors believe that nicotine is the main substance that leads to Psoriasis. How? Nicotine affects your body’s cellular growth, effects your immune system causes skin inflammation- all of which are key triggering points for Psoriasis. The main kind of Psoriasis observed in smokers are palmoplantar pustulosis. Sometimes some smokers smoke to reduce stress, this can double the risk of the people as there will be severe side effects of smoking on your skin.

  1. Sagging Skin

Effects of Smoking on Your Skin

If you thought only your grandma has sagging skin, wait till you wake up one day looking like her. If you observe chain smokers you will observe their upper arms and breasts sag as the skin loses its elasticity.

  1. Wound Takes Time to Heal

Vascular constriction is one of the key toxins found in cigarettes. Apart from sagging your skin, this toxin affects your blood flow thereby reducing your body’s capability to heal itself.  This is why most doctors recommend their patients to quit smoking before surgery. Smokers also have an increase4d risk of wound infection, tissue death, blood clot formation, and unsuccessful skin grafting. Also if you though stretch marks only come when you gain or lose weight, smoking every day too can cause stretch marks.

  1. Skin Cancer

The most common as well as the server-side effects of smoking on the skin is cancer. Most of the patients that get cancer from smoking find it hard to recover. Most of the cancer death rates are from people who suffer from cancer as a result of smoking. SCC ( squamous cell carcinoma) is a common form of cancer that appears around the lip in people who smoke.  Doctors believe that smokers are at a higher risk of cancer because smoking affects a person’s immune system.

  1. Acne Inversa

Side effects of Smoking on Skin

Hidradenitis suppurativa, also known as acne inversa, is a common inflammatory skin disease. this disease affects those parts of the body where skin rubs against skin.

  1. Vasculitis

Vasculitis also knows as Buerger’s disease, involve inflamed blood vessels in the body. This disease mainly affects blood flow to the hands and feet. This results in pain and tissue damage. When left untreated this can cause ulcers formation on the skin of the fingers and toes.

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  1. Telangiectasia

Side effects of Smoking

A condition where the small blood vessels in the body widen or dilate leading to damage to capillary walls is known as Telangiectasia. They are most noticeable close to the surface of the skin but they can also appear in the other parts of the body. When left untreated this can cause nerve damage.

  1. Changes in Skin Tone or Staining

The skin tone of smokers can be uneven, they tend to be orange or grey making the person look old and dull.  This is mostly due to the lack of oxygen supply to the skin.

  1. Dry skin

Dry skin is naturally uncomfortable as it makes the skin dry, patchy and scaly. The lack of moisture in the skin makes it less flexible. When the skin lacks moisture the skin looks very unattractive. Your skin would be red and sometimes even form cracks when tend to bleed.

If you have tried to quit smoking so far, it’s never too late. I know that trying to quit smoking by oneself can nearly be impossible as it requires a lot of self-resistance and motivation.  Just remember, for a few minutes of pleasure you are damaging your body and your skin. All of which you are going to regret one day.

I hope this article helps to know the possible side effects of smoking on the skin and to find the motivation to save yours as well as the lives of the people around you.

Angeline is a registered dietitian currently working in research. She have participated in many public health programs organised by WHO, and other health organisations around the world. She studied in North Ireland and in the USA to complete a BSc in Human Nutrition from Ulster University. She then went on to complete my PhD focusing on diet, exercise, weight management and more recently completed a postgraduate diploma in dietetics. She enjoy walks on the beautiful north coast of Ireland and is passionate about providing evidence-based nutrition advice for the general public. You can connect with her any time for a health advice.

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