Most people know that smoking has many negative effects on health, and causes many diseases including lung cancer and cardiovascular disease. Most people, however, do not know much about the negative effects on the skin. While in most cases the effects on the skin might not be life threatening, they change the appearance of the smoker.
In a world where people are constantly trying to enhance their physical appearance, people should be aware of the effects of smoking. The need to look good should motivate people to quit the habit.
1. Premature aging
The skin changes in looks and texture as people age. This is due to a number of factors ranging from sun exposure to environmental factors. For people who smoke, premature aging becomes a serious problem. Studies have shown that cigarette smoking does more damage to the skin than exposure to sunlight. The studies further show that women have a higher risk than men do. The skin loses elasticity and becomes dry and unattractive, making the smoker look much older that she really is.
People who smoke tend to get premature wrinkles, with heavy smokers getting more wrinkles than occasional smokers do. Women who have been smoking for more than 15 years will look almost ten years older than their non-smoking age mates will. Studies also show that smoking causes more wrinkles than exposure to sunlight. While evidence shows that women are more likely to develop more wrinkles than men are, it is not clear why this happens.
3. Skin tone
Another effect of smoking on the skin is the change in tone and color. Those who smoke will tend to look gaunt and will often have dark patches on the skin. People with light-colored skin tend to experience the biggest change as the skin becomes darker. The facial discoloration is especially prominent around the eyes and the mouth. This makes the smokers look much older and they look sick as the skin loses its healthy glow.
4. Slow wound healing
Another effect of smoking on the skin is that wounds take much longer to heal. The ability of the skin to regenerate decreases and this means wound repair is slowed down. This condition is quite apparent for those who undergo cosmetic surgery. Surgeons advise anyone who wants to get facial surgery to quit smoking if they want to get the best results. The nicotine in the cigarettes causes blood vessels to constrict hampering the supply of blood through the body. This means that the supply of nutrients to the skin is reduced.
5. Lack of moisture
Smoking leads to a reduction of moisture, which leaves the skin looking and feeling dry and uncomfortable. Dry skin is prone to flaking and can lead to a scaly appearance. Lack of moisture also causes itchiness and leads to cracks on the skin. This leaves the smoker with an unattractive appearance, which needs to be covered with a lot of make-up. People with diseases like diabetes, AIDS and lupus have a higher chance of getting skin lesions if they are smokers.
6. Reduced blood flow
Blood flow is responsible for the healthy glow or skin appearance that people get. For those who smoke cigarettes, the blood flow is reduced due to the release of vasopressin, a hormone that is responsible for the condition. Studies show that large amounts of vasopressin appear in the blood right after smoking.
7. Skin cancer
While exposure to sunlight is the main risk factor associated with carcinoma of the skin, evidence shows that cigarette smoking also leads to an increase in the risk of getting the skin cancer. Studies show that cigarette smokers are twice as likely to develop the cancer as non-smokers of the same age who are exposed to the same environment. Those who quit smoking lower their chances of getting the cancer quite significantly.
Smokers have a higher chance of developing psoriasis than those who do not smoke. The rare skin condition that is characterized silvery scales on the arms, legs and back will appear more prominently on those who smoke. Treatment is less likely to work on those who smoke, with research showing that heavy smokers are more prone to getting severe psoriasis.
The skin is the largest organ in the human body and when it is looking unhealthy, the person looks unhealthy. While quitting cigarette smoking may be difficult for many, it is worth doing. Several aids can help and they include electronic cigarettes and other medications. Learn more about the health-related issues that you can face if you are a smoker, on this website: www.4thecure.com