We all have been hearing for ages that smoking in any way is harmful to our health and well-being. The substances like nicotine, carbon monoxide, tar, and acetone do no good when we inhale them while smoking.
According to Forbes, there has been an increase in the number of smokers in recent times and some people came back to their tried and tested coping mechanism due to boredom, stress, anxiety, and depression.
Smoking not only affects lungs and respiratory system but the whole body, resulting in health complications and long-term issues. Skin is also affected by the habit of smoking and if your skin feels fatigued, dull, or pigmented despite regular skincare, smoking might be the underlying cause.
Let's have a look at the effects of smoking and the damage it causes to the skin.
Smoking and Ageing
According to the doctors of Mayo Clinic, smoking causes the skin to age faster and increases the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. It makes the skin look older than it originally is and causes crow's foot, lines below the eyes, lines between the brows, around the mouth, and thinner lips.
Nicotine causes the shrinkage of blood vessels lowering the oxygen supply, smoke causes damage and dryness on the upper layer of the skin. The longer you continue to smoke, you contribute more to the damage and premature ageing of the skin.
Smoking and Skin Cancer
According to Cancer Research UK, there is nothing we can do to slow down or prevent the damage caused by smoking. The only solution is to quit the habit. Smoking is responsible for 15 types of cancer and skin cancer is one of them.
According to the American Cancer Society, smoking increases the risk of squamous cell skin cancer, mainly around the lips, which is one of the most common types of skin cancer.
Smoking and Pigmentation
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking can also cause the skin to look pigmented and change the color of your skin resulting in uneven tone at times. It is because smoking constricts the blood flow to the skin, which prevents the flow of the required nutrients and oxygen.
This further allows the free radicals and pollutants to cause damage to the skin and induce an enzyme MMP-1 which degrades the collagen thus affecting the elasticity of the skin as well.
Increases the Risk of Psoriasis
According to the Foundation of Psoriasis, if a family member has ever suffered from psoriasis, you must quit smoking or it increases the risk of you suffering from the skin condition. If you have psoriasis, your smoking habit can make it worse and difficult for the dermatologist to treat the condition.
You must also know that if you are around the people who smoke, the harmful smoke can also increase the risk of psoriasis or psoriasis arthritis later in life.
Smoking and Wound Healing
You must have been under an impression that smoking affects the lungs, heart, and skin of a person. But you would be surprised to know that it also delays wound healing and recovery process after surgery.
According to the Association for Advancement of Wound Care, nicotine in cigarettes narrows down the arteries and affects the flow of oxygen and nutrients to the wound due to which it takes comparatively more time to heal. Smoking also weakens the immune system due to which the body is not able to fight infections and it results in worsening of the wound.