While it is common knowledge now that smoking is harmful to your overall health, did you know that smoking can also damage the health and appearance of your skin? Each time you inhale smoke, you are exposing your skin to thousands of chemical toxins that induce premature aging and cause several skin concerns including:
1. Sagging Skin
There are several chemicals in cigarettes that damage the natural collagen and elastin within the skin. As these fibers weaken the skin loses its strength and elasticity, resulting in sagging and wrinkling of the skin.
2. Lines and Wrinkles
The deterioration of healthy collagen fibers also results in early onset development of deep lines and wrinkles. Additionally, the repetitious facial movements involved in smoking result in dramatic lines and wrinkles around the mouth and on the lips.
3. Uneven Skin Tone
Smoking causes a reduction in the amount of red blood cells which are necessary to carry nutrients and oxygen throughout the body. With fewer red blood cells, many smokers will appear pale or develop blotchiness.
4. Dullness and Dry Skin
The use of nicotine has also been shown to impair overall blood flow by causing the narrowing of blood vessels. This leads to dry and dull skin, along with other health issues.
The narrowing of blood vessels also makes the skin of a smoker more prone to scarring. Many smokers will find that their wounds may take longer to heal due to reduced oxygen-rich blood flow.
6. Chronic Skin Conditions
Smokers have an increased risk in the development of chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. For anyone who is already living with psoriasis, smoking will make daily symptoms worse.
7. Age Spots
Age spots are small dark areas of the skin. They can develop in anyone who experienced prolonged and repeated sun exposure over time. However, studies have shown that smokers are more susceptible in developing age spots.
8. Skin Cancer
Cigarettes can cause lung, throat, oral, and even skin cancer. In fact, smokers have a 52% higher risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma than non-smokers.
If you are struggling skin issues and don’t know where to turn, the skin health experts at Forefront Dermatology are ready to help. To find the Forefront dermatologist nearest you, visit the locations page today.