Cigarette smoking, known to cause lung cancer and encourage heart disease, also has significant aging effects on your skin and hair.
It is a well known fact that all of us are affected by aging, which is a natural biological process. There are, however, several external factors that act as fuel to the process of aging. Exposure to the sun gives our skin an old wrinkled look, many years of alcohol intake gives us an older appearance. A study has shown that diet can also influence the precancerous spots on our skin. A low fat diet helps in reducing these spots while a high fat diet might increase the number.
We all know that smoking causes lung cancer and heart disease, but what we don’t know is that it also leaves our skin with aging effects.
Effects of smoking on skin and hair:
cigarette smoking increases the appearance of wrinkles, mostly in females. It leaves your skin with an orange red complexion, and it also helps in the development of pale skin patches in various places, causing swollen areas, as well as leaving a yellow stain on the fingers where you hold the cigarette. It also enhances premature aging of the skin as well as grey hair. Risk of squamous cell cancer is increased and healing of wounds is slowed down.
Who is affected the most?
Smoking generally affects the skin of women more than men, leaving behind wrinkles around the mouth. It has a greater effect on light skin rather than on darker complexions. The effect increases if you have been smoking more than 15 years. It also increases if you smoke half a pack or more in a day.
What does smoking actually do?
As nicotine is a diuretic, smoking makes the skin surface rough. Vitamin A in the skin is reduced. While sun affects the aging of the dermis part of the skin, smoking affects the deeper parts. Blood supply to the skin is lower due to smoking causing slow healing of the skin. This slow healing influences the after cosmetic surgery or laser resurfacing. It slow down the healing processes giving way to further complications. Nicotine and carbon monoxide have toxic effects on the healing tissues. Some studies have also shown that nicotine suppresses the immune system which causes viral infections of the skin such as warts.
Smoking is injurious to health, we all know that, but when you sum up the effects it leaves on the skin, quitting cigarette will be an even better new year resolution.