It’s no secret that there are plenty of negative side effects associated with smoking. Along side the obvious health risks that you are taking when you choose to smoke, the signs of your bad habit will be all over your skin too. ‘Smokers face’ is a term that has long been used to describe the older and greying skin that many long term smoker possess thanks to chemicals that starve the skin of oxygen and stop the ‘glow’. Here are some of the ways that smoking damages your skin:
Both the blood supply and skin cells are damaged by chemicals in cigarette smoke which leads to drier and more wrinkle prone skin. Carbon monoxide strips the oxygen from the blood that is vital in keeping skin supple and healthy, while free radicals cause cell changes that contribute to wrinkles. On top of the chemical causes of wrinkles, the constant sucking action lead to those tell-tale wrinkles around the mouth.
Nicotine causes vasoconstriction (or narrowing of the veins) which means less blood supply can get to wounds in the healing process. Not only can this be an issue from a surgical standpoint but it also leads to scars that are darker, larger and take longer to heal than they would be in non-smokers.
Psoriasis is an auto-immune skin condition that effects many people, smokers and non-smokers alike, causing skin redness, irritation and scaly, flaky skin. Even though people who have never touched a cigarette suffer from this condition, those who smoke have a 60% higher chance of developing psoriasis than their non-smoking counterparts.
Excessive sun light exposure is the dominant factor behind skin cancer cases world wide, but studies show that smoking also increases your risk of developing this type of cancer as well as numerous others such as oral and lung cancer.
Avoiding smoking is beneficial in many different ways from the superficial to long term health and reduces many risks associated with surgery.
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