North East Connected

How smoking affects your appearance

There are many risks from the habit of smoking which I’m sure you’re familiar with.  Risks such as the increasing chance of getting cancer, heart disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary and stroke, to the ingredients found in tobacco smoke causing damage inside your body.

Many of these problems may take a while to develop to the point where alarm bells start ringing, or may never been able to identify. However, smoking can also have negative effect on your appearance – issues that will be clear for you and visible to others.

So, to encourage you to stop smoking, here’s some of negative effects that smoking can have on your appearance and why it may be time to drop the habit:

Smoking can reduce the amount of oxygen and nutrients that get to your skin, with the result being that skin will begin to age more quickly, and display a dull and grey appearance. Premature aging of your skin by between 10 and 20 years will also occur from smoking.

It’s also important to consider that nicotine causes vasoconstriction, which is a condition that narrows blood vessels and oxygen-rich blood vessels flow to small vessels found around your face and other parts of your body being limited. The problem of this condition, will be visible if you wound yourself, as vasoconstriction will take prolong the healing process and result in scars appearing bigger and redder than those who aren’t affected by the condition.

There are 4,000 chemicals found in tobacco which many will trigger the destruction of elastin and collagen in the body too. These are fibres that body requires to strengthen the skin and elasticity – lose them and the consequences of sagging skin, deeper wrinkles will occur, especially around the inner arms, breasts and face.

Covering the topic of your face, smoking will also see the development of smoker’s pucker – an occurrence that comes about as smokers use certain muscles around their lips which cause dynamic wrinkles to appear.  Combining this with the loss of elasticity to the skin, the result in regards to appearance will be deep links around the lips.

Staying focused on your face, wrinkles on the outside of your eyes- – otherwise known as crow’s feet – will be something that everyone will experience eventually in their lives. However, they develop earlier and go deeper if you smoke, this is due from the heat off the lit cigarette and also result of a smoker squinting in an attempt to keep smoke out of their eyes.

You may also experience bags under your eyes more frequently too, due to a study by Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine previously suggesting that those who smoke cigarettes are four times more likely to experience restless nights than non-smokers. The study, which involved the analysis of sleep architecture of 40 smokers and a matched number of non-smokers who all undertook home polysomnography, also suggeste that smokers spend less time in a deep sleep than non-smokers.

Naresh M. Punjabi, MD, FCCP, PhD, John Hopkins Univeristy School of Medicine, Batlimore, MD and the study’s author, commented: “It is possible that smoking has time-dependent effects across the sleep period. Smokers commonly experience difficulty falling asleep due to the stimulating effects of nicotine. As night evolves, withdrawal from nicotine may further contribute to sleep disturbance.”

Your hair
Or the loss of it, to make this heading more accurate

This happens because your hair grow from sac-like structures found underneath the scalp called follicles which they need oxygen, essential nutrients and vitamins/minerals in order to function correctly and trigger natural hair growth  but, as mentioned, smoking reduced the amount of oxygen and nutrients that get to your skin.

Follicles that don’t function properly result in a disruption of the normal hair growth and loss cycle, which in turn causes hair thinning and eventually hair loss.

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