Smoking Affects Your Skin
Have you ever wondered if cigarette smoking affects your skin? Even though we all know the dangers of smoking on the lungs and cardiovascular health, many people don’t realize how smoking affects your skin. So if you want to keep your skin looking healthy and young, you probably need to know the effects that using tobacco can have on your skin. Many dermatologists and experts advise that quitting smoking has a positive effect on your skin.
Since the skin is the largest organ of the body, as well as the first thing people see when they meet you, most people feel it is very important to have good skin. Many people believe that you only care for your skin from the outside with cleansers and skin care products. However, it has been shown that the things you put in your body have an effect on your skin as well. Without certain nutrients, your skin condition will falter. In the same way, the chemicals you take into your body from smoking can have ill effects on your skin health as well.
The first thing to point out is that the carbon monoxide in cigarette smoke binds with the hemoglobin in your blood 220 times better than oxygen. That means that when you inhale cigarette smoke this carbon monoxide goes into the blood stream and takes the place of the oxygen that should be transported to your tissues, including your skin. This decrease in oxygen supply to the tissues in the skin causes the skin to discolor. The skin can take on a yellowish hue. The lack of oxygen also can cause skin damage that causes the skin to have more wrinkles and sagging due to the loss of collagen. The collagen and elastin damage that are caused by smoking means the skin loses strength and elasticity. Some studies show the decreased blood flow to the skin can last up to 30 minutes after you finish smoking a cigarette.
Smoking can increase the production of free radicals in the body. Free radicals can also damage elastin a collagen which results in skin damage. So you can see there are many ways that smoking affects your skin that you may not have even been aware of.
There have been shown to be around 4,000 different chemical substances found in cigarette smoke. Many of these are toxic and some are carcinogenic (cancer causing). The carcinogens in cigarette smoke can not only lead to lung cancer, but also some forms of skin cancer. This includes the deadly squamous cell carcinoma. This skin cancer can spread to the internal organs and other parts of the body.
Smoking has also been shown to lead to wrinkles around the lips from the puffing motion during smoking. It can also cause wrinkles on other parts of the face from the mechanical motion of smoking, as well as the loss of elastin and collagen as mentioned earlier.
Now that you know how smoking affects your skin you can decide if now is a good time to quit. Researchers and experts agree that quitting smoking can help you stop the damage to your skin and the skin will begin to repair itself. Quitting can lead to more healthy and younger looking skin.