EFFECT OF SMOKING ON SKIN
Cigarette smoking is injurious to health is a phrase that is associated with smoking but a warning that is almost always ignored. Apart from the hazardous effects on your health, smoking can wreak havoc on your skin as well. Cigarette smoke has carbon monoxide that takes away the oxygen in the skin and nicotine reduces blood flow leaving the skin dry and lifeless. Smoking cigarettes also stripes away nutrients like vitamin C that help repair and reverse skin damage. Here are some other issues that smoking can cause so make sure that you quit smoking now.
Sagging skin under your eyes
If you smoke regularly, you are likely to suffer from withdrawal symptoms and lack of sleep is a natural side effect. Smokers are likely to lose sleep compared to non smokers as nicotine dependence can mean that you do not rest.
While psoriasis is an autoimmune skin issue, if you smoke the risk of having a scaly skin condition goes up. Studies have indicated that people who smoke a pack of cigarettes for 10 years, the psoriasis risk goes up by 20% and if you have been smoking for 11–20 years the risk is 60% higher.
If you smoke regularly, you will develop wrinkles on your face sooner and premature aging sets in. This is because smoking speedens up aging as it hampers blood supply that keeps skin tissue supple. The elasticity of the skin is lost and small red lines due to dilation of blood vessels causes aging as well. In fact wrinkles appear around the mouth and eyes very often in smokers.
Nicotine in cigarettes causes vasoconstriction which is a condition where the blood vessels become narrow. This can limit oxygen-rich blood flow to the tiny vessels on your face and any wounds will take longer to heal as there is slower growth and regeneration of blood cells. Also any scars will be larger and appear redder and also heal slowly.
As cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, wrinkles, gray tones and dullness is common in people who smoke. As the flow of oxygen is reduced, blood flow is restricted causing dry and discoloured skin. Also Vitamin C that helps in repairing skin damage, is depleted in smokers and natural glowing tone is reduced.
Research also indicates that the damaging effect of smoking on the skin gets magnified when it comes in contact with the sun’s UV rays. This dual effect of sunlight exposure and smoking can cause the skin to seem lifeless.
Smoking causes oxidative stress and reduced oxygen causes tissue ischaemia and blood vessel occlusion on the skin. This reduces immunity and causes metallo-proteinase MMP-1 an enzyme that reduces collagen.
Poor skin health
People who smoke have higher risk of clotting of blood cells.
Inputs by Dr Shushma, is a young Dermatologist and Cosmetologist.