Beneath the Surface

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Raising Skin Care Awareness on World No Tobacco Day

Every year on May 31, World No Tobacco Day is observed to encourage a 24-hour period of abstinence from all forms of tobacco consumption. Most people immediately think of lung cancer when discussing the effects of smoking tobacco, but do you think about the effects of smoking on your skin?

skincare, smoking, tobacco skin effects

Research shows that smoking affects the skin in several ways:

  • Poor Skin Tone – Smoking chronically deprives skin of oxygen and nutrients. That means some smokers can appear pale, while others can develop an uneven skin coloring.
  • Sagging Skin – Many of the 4,000+ chemicals in tobacco smoke trigger the destruction of collagen and elastin. These are the fibers that give skin its strength and elasticity. Smoking and even being around secondhand smoke leads to sagging skin and deeper wrinkles.
  • Lines Around Lips – Here, we see a two-step process working. First, puckering around a cigarette causes wrinkles around the mouth. The loss of elasticity that we discussed above then leads to deeper lines.
  • Age Spots – Blotches of darker-colored skin on the hands and face are called age spots. Anyone can develop age spots, but research suggests smokers are more susceptible.
  • Hair Loss – Both men and women tend to develop thinner hair as they age, but smoking can accelerate this process. Some studies even suggest people who smoke are more likely to go bald.
  • Psoriasis – Recent studies suggest smokers have a greater risk of developing psoriasis, a chronic condition that causes thick, scaly patches on the skin.

So there you have it. Smoking affects many aspects of your body, not just your lungs.

If you suffer from any of the conditions above, get care from a board-certified dermatologist online with DermatologistOnCall.

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