Not just the lungs: how smoking can affect your skin

Everyone knows that smoking is bad for the lungs and heart, but it also negatively affects the skin. Tobacco smoke damages collagen and elastin and impairs immune responses, harming the skin and increasing the risk of developing (or exacerbating) skin diseases. Here are some unpleasant skin effects that smoking can cause.

Premature ageing

Cigarette smoke causes oxidative stress, which in turn decreases collagen and elastin production. Because of this, the skin loses its elasticity and becomes flabby.

Smoking also leads to a sharp constriction of blood vessels, a lack of oxygen and nutrients necessary for healthy skin. All this causes the early appearance of visible wrinkles, especially around the mouth.

Scars and pigmentation

Smoking and the circulatory disturbance that it causes make the skin more susceptible to damage to the capillaries and veins, leading to a deterioration in complexion, hyperpigmentation, and scarring.

Therefore, clean, smooth skin and smoking are practically incompatible.

Darkening of the lips

Even lip skin can be negatively affected by smoking. If a person has been smoking for many years, then dark spots may appear on their lips over time, caused by frequent exposure to heat and smoke.

Also, from tobacco, the skin of the lips becomes dry and rough, so smokers have to use moisturizing and nourishing balms almost every half hour.

Deterioration of wound healing

Another unpleasant consequence of constant smoking is the deterioration of wound healing. Smokers’ skin takes much longer to recover from injuries, surgeries, and other medical procedures.

Ulcers, deep cuts, burns, and even minor scratches take longer to heal, and ugly scars and scars are more likely to form.

Dry skin

Smoking also affects the hydration level of the skin. Cigarette smoke causes the skin to become drier, coarser, and often flaky. Increased dryness of the skin can also lead to early wrinkles.

Note* Always consult your doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about your health or condition. Never disregard a health care professional’s advice or delay getting it because of what you read on this website.

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