Smoking is a bad habit and is associated with many medical conditions. Not only that person who smokes causes damage to his/ her own body but the tobacco smoke also affects other people who are near the smoker (exposure to second hand smoke).
Among many detrimental effects, smoking definitely hurts the skin. The longer the person smokes the more intensive skin changes are. People who smoke for many years are prone to dull, gray colored-skin with many wrinkles. Smoking accelerates the process of skin aging hence, people who smoke may look older than they actually are. What are the Effects of Smoking on Skin?
Smokers are susceptible to a so called 'smoker's face'. The condition was identified in 1965. The skin of a smoker has a gray tint, it is pale and there are more wrinkles. These effects can be easily explained by the fact that smoking leads to narrowing of the blood vessels of the skin. This way the skin is not well supplied with oxygen and all the essential nutrients, vitamins and minerals hence cannot maintain the healthy appearance. Furthermore, fibers in charge with skin's elasticity and strength (elastic and collagen) are damaged by smoking. The effect is accelerated skin aging, the skin looks saggy and the formation of wrinkles increases. Since smokers commonly purse their lips to hold the cigarette and squint their eyes to avoid the cigarette smoke repetition of such movements contributes even more to wrinkle formation.
Vitamin A and C are very important for the healthy appearance of the skin. Smoking prevents body to utilize these vitamins and they simply cannot provide with beneficial effects necessary for healthy look of the skin. It is therefore recommended that a smoker consumes food rich in vitamin C and they may even benefit from vitamin C supplements.
Other Dangers of Smoking
Apart from accelerated skin aging and all the detrimental effects smoking causes on the skin it is essential to mention other risk associated with this unhealthy habit.
Smokers are at a higher risk of atherosclerosis and subsequent cardiovascular diseases. The process of atherosclerosis (more frequent among smokers) may also affect other organs and organ systems and cause their damage as well. Furthermore, smoking is closely related to several types of cancer including lung, throat, bladder, pancreas and kidney cancer as well as oropharyngeal and cervical cancer.
Even respiratory illnesses such as COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) including chronic bronchitis and emphysema affect more smokers than non-smokers.
Smoking raises blood pressure hence can cause high blood pressure. Additionally, couples who smoke are more likely to suffer from fertility problems. Men may develop impotence (due to narrowing of the blood vessels). Heavy smokers are prone to macular degeneration while smokers in general carry an increased risk of cataract. And finally, local effects of smoking develop in a form of stained teeth and gums, periodontal disease, bad breath and changes in taste and smell.