Irrefutable evidence has already proven that smoking is bad for your heart, lungs, and overall health. But did you know that it’s also horrible for your skin? Smoking can significantly age the appearance of your skin. Quitting smoking may not only keep you alive and healthy, but it can also help you maintain a more youthful appearance as you get older. If you have already made the healthy choice to quit smoking, but your skin still looks worse for the wear, skin care treatments can rejuvenate your appearance and restore a fresh, healthy glow.
Effects of Smoking on the Skin
Smoking can lead to any or all of the following issues for your skin health:
- Bags Under Your Eyes: Due to nightly nicotine withdrawals affecting your quality of sleep, smoking can lead to chronic puffiness under the eyes.
- Increased Risk of Skin Cancer: In addition to increasing your risk of lung, esophageal, throat, and mouth cancer, smoking also raises your likelihood of developing skin cancer.
- Premature Aging: Smokers generally look older than people their same age because smoking accelerates the aging process. Chemicals and free radicals cause the destruction of elastin and collagen and lead to sagging skin, rough texture, and wrinkles.
- Higher Risk of Psoriasis: Your risk of developing this scaly autoimmune skin condition goes up significantly if you smoke.
- Worse Scarring: Surgeons require you to quit smoking before and after surgery because smoking narrows the blood vessels and limits oxygen flow to the skin. A smoker’s body will take longer to heal after surgery or injury and will develop a larger and darker scar.
- Uneven Coloring: Chemicals in tobacco smoke cause uneven skin coloring and deplete necessary oxygen levels in the skin. This may cause a smoker’s skin to develop a gray or yellow tone.
- Wrinkles: Smoking slows blood and oxygen supply, which denies the skin what it needs to stay smooth and healthy. Additionally, repeated puckering of the muscles around the mouth and lips combined with squinting from cigarette smoke can increase the rate at which wrinkles form around the mouth and eyes.
Treatments for Damaged Skin
If you have already seen some of the detrimental effects of smoking on your own skin, Dr. Spies can rejuvenate you with various treatments that may provide long-lasting results. For instance, a photofacial can use intense pulsed light to correct many signs of aging and improve your skin tone and clarity. Microneedling with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) can create controlled micro-injuries to stimulate collagen production and enhance your skin’s health. Medical-grade skin care treatments and peels can improve skin tone, soften skin texture, and hydrate damaged dry skin. Erbium laser resurfacing can stimulate cellular regeneration and renew the skin to soften fine lines and other signs of aging. Ultherapy® is like a nonsurgical facelift that lifts and tightens loose skin to create a youthful look. Whatever your skin needs, Dr. Spies can recommend customized skin care treatments to brighten your appearance and correct the consequences of smoking.