You are probably well aware of the fact that smoking cigarettes is harmful to your health. However, just like your lungs and heart, your smoking habit can also compromise another important organ in your body – your skin! Smoking is known for causing premature aging within your skin, but it does far more than sabotage your looks. Each time you light up, you could also be increasing your risk for skin cancer as well as chronic skin conditions such as psoriasis and discoid lupus erythematosus.
Smoking and Your Looks
Burning cigarettes emits more than 7000 chemicals. It is no surprise that they cause a slow deterioration of your skin, a large and delicate body organ that is affected from the inside and out. Smoking decreases oxygen in the blood and constricts blood vessels, which limits your skin’s vital supply of nutrients. This can have a dramatic impact on the appearance and health of your skin.
Those who smoke may find that their skin has less elasticity and is plagued with tiny red lines from dilated blood vessels. Smokers are known for their “leathery” skin tone, which includes wrinkles and an aged texture. Your cigarette habit also affects the color of your skin, as most smokers have a grayish or orange glow. Did you know that smoking can cause premature skin aging more than sun exposure? The more you smoke, the more rapidly your skin ages. In fact, one study found that a smoker who uses more than 30 cigarettes per day would look like an 84-year old by the age of 70!
Smoking and Your Skin Health
If losing your youthful skin isn’t enough to make you quit, you should know that smoking has a dramatic impact on the health of your skin too. Those who smoke cigarettes are less protected from irritation and destruction, including those from environmental pollution and natural aging. Your skin is not only more easily damaged when it is dehydrated from nicotine, but it is also less able to heal itself from wounds and infections. In turn, smokers are considered more prone to blood clots, surgical failures, ulcers and wart-virus related cancers. By weakening the immune system, smoking also sets the stage for systemic skin disorders like psoriasis and others.
What You Can Do
If smoking has already damaged your skin, turn to the experts of Olansky Dermatology for help. We specialize in treating mild to severe skin conditions in patients of all ages. Not only do we have services to restore your skin health, but we also offer a variety of aesthetic skin care services to help you regain a youthful look. Most of all, it is important that you kick your smoking habit to avoid irreversible damage to your skin and body. Make your appointment with one of our physicians in Atlanta today!