Is Smoking Damaging More Than Your Lungs?

Is Smoking Damaging More Than your Lungs?You likely already know the damage that smoking can do to many of your vital organs, including the lungs and brain. But did you know that inhalation of tobacco smoke could also be contributing to the deterioration of your skin? Sometimes, you may not even notice the damage that is being done until it’s progressed.

The inhalation of cigarettes introduces more than 7000 chemicals into the body. Many of these chemicals are formed or altered during the combustion process while the tobacco burns. However, there are many different problems that can arrive as a side effect of tobacco use. Here are some of the effects smoking can have on your skin.

Premature Aging

Studies have shown that the frequency and amount of smoking you do can directly impact how quickly your skin will age. In most cases, this can be attributed to the increased constriction of blood vessels causing red lines and decreased elasticity. This can greatly increase the appearance of wrinkles around both the eyes and mouth.

Another detrimental side effect of smoking is the loss of a once youthful glow. This condition, often called “smoker’s skin”, causes the skin to develop uneven coloring in gray or orange shades and promotes a pale look. While smoking, the skin is deprived of oxygen and nutrients that directly benefit your skin to aid in premature aging.

Increased Scarring

It is believed that smoking has a direct impact on how well the body can heal wounds and decrease the risk of scarring. This occurs when tobacco smoke impairs tissue oxygenation, even for common wounds that may be experienced. However, this is not the only factor that increases the risk of scarring for smokers.

As previously mentioned, nicotine can directly affect blood vessels by causing constriction. When this happens, the body can’t efficiently send blood to heal the skin at a wound site. Smoking has also been shown to cause small vessel damage which compromises how efficiently your blood flows.

Increased Risk of Skin Cancer

Lung cancer is commonly attributed to the use of tobacco products. However, in more recent years, studies have shown that the possibility of developing skin cancers is greater for smokers than non-smokers. Namely, skin cancers like squamous cell carcinoma are more likely to develop in users of tobacco products.

Though the effects of smoking on your skin may not be readily visible now, every puff of a cigarette is potentially ruining your chance at a clear, healthy skin. Even if the consequences of smoking-related diseases aren’t enough incentive to quit, perhaps the threat of premature aging is. Quitting smoking today is one of the best ways to benefit and preserve your skin.

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