All of us keep hearing of the damages smoking does to our body. We all know of the lethal effects of smoking on the lungs, how it reduces our longevity in this world and our overall health and well-being. According to a research done on cancer patients, it was found out that 80 to 90 percent of the lung cancer deaths are because of smoking and it reduces the overall longevity of a person by 20 percent.
The effects of Smoking on Skin may be as lethal as mentioned in the above paragraph but the slow death it gives to our skin and the damage caused to the skin is irreversible.
People generally do not take into account the invisible effects of smoking on the skin but what if you get to know that smoking affects the way you look. It damages your looks and makes you look older than your age. Let’s discuss the visible effects of Smoking, the damage it does to a person’s looks.
12 Ways in Which Smoking Affects the Skin
Smoking Causes Eye Bags
Smoking damages skin cells or the epithelial cells and take the essential vitamins including Vitamin C and body become deficient in these nutrients. As a result, the skin becomes dehydrated and loses its natural elasticity which leads to big bags under the skin. Also, people who smoke tend to get nicotine withdrawals during the night which causes disrupted sleep in heavy smokers. With this, they are not able to have an even sleep and end up waking up with big eye bags under their eyes.
Smoking Gives You An Uneven Skin Tone
Heavy smokers tend to have a very uneven skin tone and they generally have dark patches on their skin especially on their face. Smoking affects the blood vessels which deliver oxygen and other nutrients to the entire body. And, when the skin is deprived of these essential nutrients and vitamins, irreversible damage begin to happen even if you are very young. Heavy smokers tend to look very pale or have uneven skin tone. Also, the cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide and this poisonous gas does all the possible damage to the skin.
Carbon Monoxide displaces the oxygen in your skin. The nicotine in your cigarette which gets transferred to the body reduces blood flow to all the organs of the body including the skin which ultimately leaves the skin dry and discolored. Cigarette smoking also robs off many essential nutrients which help in protecting the skin and repair skin damage.
Although Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disorder which can present itself even if you have never had even a single cigarette. But the chances of having Psoriasis increases by tenfold if you are smoking. It has been found that smoking during pregnancy or childhood is linked to a higher risk of Psoriasis in children. Also, nicotine in cigarette causes vasoconstriction which is a narrowing of the blood vessels leading to oxygen less blood flow to the tiny vessels in all the parts of your body which will ultimately lead to scarring of the skin and these scars are bigger and redder than you would in a non-smoking individual.
You Tend to Get Wrinkles Early
A study found out that smokers look 1.5 years older than a person who does not smoke. As stated above the nicotine in your smoke cause limited supply of oxygen rich blood transfer in all the parts of your body. Because of this the skin looks dehydrated, looks pale and unhealthy. There are 4000 chemicals found in tobacco which is carcinogenic and is known to damage elastin and collagen present in the skin which is responsible for the elasticity and health of our skin. If elastin and collagen are disturbed, the skin sags and deep wrinkles appear all over the body and not just the face. And these wrinkles can even show up at a very young age if you have been smoking for a very long time.
Faster and Premature Ageing
With damage to the elastin and collagen, smoking damages the skin of all the body and a disrupted blood supply to all parts of the body leads to a dehydrated skin which makes one look older.
The Glow On Your Face Disappears
Normal skin becomes dry and discolored with regular intake of nicotine. Frequent and regular cigarette smoking also depletes many nutrients, including vitamin C, which helps protect and repair skin damage. You get an appearance of gauntness and a gray appearance of the skin when you consume cigarette very frequently.
Delayed Wound Healing
The immune system is weakened with the regular consumption of cigarette. When the immune system is weakened, the infected area or the wound does not get a supply of essential nutrients to that part of the body which leads to delayed wound healing. Smoking is extremely effective at weakening the immune system. It depresses the antibodies and cells that protect your body against outside bacteria that have the potential to do harm.
It is not too late to reverse the effects of smoking and strengthen your immune system which will allow your wounds to heal rapidly and also improve your general health.
You Tend To Get Skin Warts
Smokers are more susceptible to infection with human papilloma virus which is responsible for causing skin warts and even genital warts. Genital warts are often caused by sexually transmitted types of HPV; smoking is also a risk factor. According to study, women who smoke are nearly four times as likely to have genital warts as nonsmokers.
Cigarettes have a high content of nicotine and this nicotine found in cigarettes damages the fibers and connective tissue of the skin which causes it to lose elasticity and strength.
Stretch marks and marks on the skin which occur as a result of cigarette smoking can gradually form into a silvery hue form when you gain weight rapidly. Cigarettes are a big contributing factor for such stretch marks to appear.
Flabby and Sagging Skin
It has found out that people who generally smoke tend to have a lower body weight than people who do not smoke cigarettes are generally considered an appetite suppressant. However, another study has found out that smokers had more visceral fat which is deep fat that encloses our internal organs – than nonsmokers. Those flaps around your belly make you look very bulky and unattractive.
The Visceral fat when accumulated in the body around your organs ultimately increasing the risk of other diseases as well.
Sagging Arms and Breasts
Normal skin becomes dry and discolored with regular intake of nicotine. Frequent and regular cigarette smoking also depletes many nutrients and also damages the elastin and collagen fibers. And damage to elastin fibers can cause sagging and drooping. The most vulnerable areas include the breasts and upper arms including the face especially the area around lips and eyes.
A study has found out that smokers are more susceptible to develop dark spots which appear like age spots very rapidly if heavy smoking is continued. When you quit smoking, you make your skin more resistant to premature aging.
With all the effects of nicotine on the skin mentioned above it is evident that if not for the intrinsic damage, one should quit smoking for the looks. Quitting smoking will give a glow and spark in your eyes by keeping the soft skin around your eyes taut. You will have a natural glow on your face with beautiful spotless skin.
If you quit smoking, you yourself will be able to put a full stop on those wrinkles appearing on your face your overall skin will remain firm which ultimately will make you look your own age. With a brake on the wrinkles, you will look young and that is enough motivation for anyone to quit smoking. Also, the lip discoloration caused by smoking is reversed gradually when one quits smoking. That black lip stain which occurs because of smoking makes anyone look ugly and that can definitely be reversed when someone quits smoking. It also protects your nails and fingers from getting stained badly. All the reasons mentioned above should be taken as motivation to quit smoking and a step towards making your skin healthy, hydrated. So, go ahead, quit smoking and look young.