6/13/2018

How smoking is ruining your skin

The internal issues caused by smoking are well-known and documented. Cancer, heart disease, a higher risk of stroke, these illnesses might not always develop clear symptoms. 

However, the damage smoking causes your outward appearance is very noticeable to those around you. If you're debating quitting, take a look at some of the worrying ways smoking warps your looks as a final motivation to make the change. 

Aging skin

Smoking robs your skin of much-needed oxygen and vitamins, resulting in a greyish appearance and aging. Premature aging of your skin by between 10 and 20 years will also occur from smoking.

It also causes the blood vessels to become narrow, which in turn reduces the flow of blood to the smaller vessel in your face. The problem of this condition will be seen if you suffer a wound, as vasoconstriction will take it longer to heal and result in scars appearing bigger and redder than those who aren’t affected by the condition.

The chemicals in cigarette smoke also break down elastin and collagen in the skin. These are fibers required to give skin its strength and elasticity — lose them and sagging skin and deeper wrinkles will be the consequence, which will be seen especially around the inner arms, breasts, and face.

Plus, as smokers are repeatedly using the same muscles around the lips, wrinkles start to form around the mouth, giving a smoker the classic “smoker’s pucker”. Combined with a loss of elasticity to the skin, the result in regards to appearance will be deep lines around the lips.

Lackluster hair

Hair grows from follicles in your scalp, which look like small little sacs under the skin. However, these need oxygen, essential nutrients, and vitamins/minerals in order to function correctly and trigger natural hair growth but, as previously discussed, smoking reduces the amount of oxygen and nutrients that get to your skin.
Without oxygen, the follicles fail to maintain hair growth cycles, leading to thinning and hair loss.

Tired eyes

Crow’s feet are a series of wrinkles that inevitably develop in the outer corner of the eye. However, they develop earlier and go deeper when you smoke due to the heat from lit cigarettes and also as a result of a smoker squinting in an attempt to keep smoke out of their eyes.

Smokers are more like to see bags forming under their eyes too. A study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine previously suggesting that those who smoke cigarettes are four times more likely to report feeling unrested after a night’s sleep than non-smokers. The study, which involved the analysis of the sleep architecture of 40 smokers and a matched group of 40 nonsmokers who all undertook home polysomnography, also suggested that smokers spend less time in a deep sleep than non-smokers.

Naresh M. Punjabi, MD, Ph.D., FCCP, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD and the study’s author, commented on the study’s results: “It is possible that smoking has time-dependent effects across the sleep period. Smokers commonly experience difficulty falling asleep due to the stimulating effects of nicotine. As night evolves, withdrawal from nicotine may further contribute to sleep disturbance.”

If you’re looking to quit and restore your body’s health, as well as improve the condition of your skin and hair, why not take a look at nicotine patches as an extra support to quitting smoking

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